Tenants of evacuated Calgary apartment building face delays for return

·2 min read
Residents at the Westview Heights apartment building were hoping to be back in the building by Monday after flooding in late December. A Friday afternoon update dashed those hopes, citing a delay in safety inspections. (James Young/CBC - image credit)
Residents at the Westview Heights apartment building were hoping to be back in the building by Monday after flooding in late December. A Friday afternoon update dashed those hopes, citing a delay in safety inspections. (James Young/CBC - image credit)

Tenants of a downtown Calgary apartment building evacuated two weeks ago will likely have to wait a little longer to return — and management says it's doing its best.

The Westview Heights apartment tower is located in the 800 block of 8th Avenue S.W., housing 297 units.

The building suffered massive flooding and outages, including electricity and heat, during the holiday cold snap. Flooding on Boxing Day prompted an evacuation of the building.

Jules Glasel, one of the evacuees, has been staying at the house of her boyfriend's parents in the northeast.

"I don't wish anybody to go through this because it just sucks," she said.

WATCH | This video shows some sights and sounds of the flooding, which took place in late December:

In an email sent to residents by Westview Heights management, the company writes that it had hoped for city, fire and elevator inspections to be completed and passed on Friday morning.

That did not happen, with technical issues arising with the sprinklers and elevators that the company said must be addressed prior to the building being granted occupancy.

Ajay Nehru with Mayflower Ventures told CBC News that the company delayed rent and is focused on getting tenants back into their homes.

"These are all things that are out of our control. It's in my interest to have people come back right away," Nehru said.

"But they're not going to release the elevators to me if they're not safe … I bug them every three, four hours, and I'm hoping that one of these calls they'll say, 'We've got the problem fixed.'"

Submitted by Adam Bremner
Submitted by Adam Bremner

But for some residents, the long wait has led to frustration. Glasel said she has already found a new apartment and plans to break her lease.

Hyunsuk Jung, a resident on the building's 22nd floor, said he is losing trust in management.

"If I can rate [management] one to 10, I can do, like two," he said.

In the company's email, it states that the sprinkler systems will likely be tested Saturday evening, should the contractor be able to secure the necessary fittings.

The elevator delays are related to software issues, which require the input of a specialist working remotely from California, the company said.

"I understand the frustration, believe me. I go through it myself," Nehru said. "But what I'd say to folks is, 'Get back in your units, if you still feel the same way, then let's look at it on a case-by-case basis.'"

Mayflower Ventures said residents are required to have tenants' insurance before they can sign a lease.

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