It’s been nearly a decade since plans were first pitched for a new condo development at the corner of Victoria Avenue and Albert Street and Bregg Cleaners owner Terry Thorsteinson has had a front-row seat the development — or lack thereof.
Thorsteinson said he still has the newspaper article dated Aug. 12, 2009, about Capital Pointe plans being proposed to take over the site previously occupied by the Plains Hotel.
“So I get to read that every day and I think the completion date for the hotel and the condo was supposed to be finished by 2015 and here we are in 18 and sitting with a big hole,” Thorsteinson.
He said the original plans included a shared back alley between the cleaners and Capital Pointe which would help with accessibility. The parkade in the building would have also opened onto the alley.
Now, Thorsteinson said the major issues they face are a lack of parking for people who want to use their service — something he said many people downtown complain about.
Capital Pointe is also the number one topic of discussion for their customers.
“I had a fellow came in here (Monday) morning who said ‘Oh you’ve got tarps on the side of your building’ and I said ‘Well they’ve been there for a year and you’re just noticing them now.’”
An appeal is currently underway to determine whether the company has to follow an order by the city to backfill the hole. The city is arguing the hole is unstable while lawyers representing Westgate Properties have maintained the hole is stable with only minimal movements.
One of the experts who testified during the appeal hearing said Bregg Cleaners had seen some ground movement — possibly having moved nine millimetres towards the site along with about 20 millimetres of shifting at the footing of the building.
While that sort of movement can lead to cracks, Thorsteinson said they haven’t noticed anything within their building.
He added it is impossible for them to get in on the north side to look and see if there has been damage due to it being fenced off.
“That movement seems to be fairly minimal.”
He said there have been surveyors who come out to monitor the hole but he said they haven’t told him anything about the site or if there has been movement.
Thorsteinson said he personally would like to see the hole filled and possibly have parking put there.
The appeal wrapped up on July 26 with a written decision expected within 30 days.