Abandoned buildings in Kamloops shopping district frustrate business association

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A Kamloops business association that has made efforts in recent years to beautify part of the city’s North Shore neighborhood is increasingly frustrated by the dilapidation of some buildings in the area.

Despite the trade association’s efforts, a handful of buildings along Tranquille Road remain dilapidated and boarded up, attracting vandals and squatters.

“It’s really very frustrating when there are specific horrors that just aren’t addressed,” said Joshua Knaak of the North Shore Business Improvement Association, one of the main drivers of the city’s efforts to transform the neighborhood. into a commercial corridor.

Kamloops Good Neighborhood Policy states that homeowners must not leave their properties in disrepair. Currently, the city is monitoring more than 20 cases that may cause public nuisance.

Mike Rose’s former Italian restaurant is on the city’s watch list. Located at Tranquille Road and Knox Street, the business has been closed for 14 years: it’s barricaded with plywood planks covered in graffiti.

Mike Rose, owner of the derelict restaurant, says confining his property is the only way to protect his windows from vandalism. (Doug Herbert / CBC)

“The only way to keep the windows from being broken is to keep them closed. I replaced the window here and three weeks later it was broken again,” Rose said.

“The last time I stopped to ask someone to move out, I was threatened with a baseball bat.”

Knaak says his company, Arpa Investments, has spent millions of dollars on properties along Tranquille Road. He said that many entrepreneurs have worked together to improve the shopping district.

“As soon as [the graffiti] came back, we hit it again and we repainted it, ”Knaak said of efforts to remove graffiti from buildings.

“Clean it up. We are all expecting you,” Knaak told Rose.

The city must wait and see if owners of abandoned buildings are following all regulatory compliance procedures before they can use extreme measures such as demolishing buildings and suing owners.

“All we can do is make sure it is kept so that there is no nuisance attached to it,” said Tammy Blundell, director of municipal services for the city, to Shelley Joyce, host of the CBC show. Dawn Kamloops.

Jeremy Heighton, executive director of the North Shore Business Improvement Association, says the city has been too slow to tackle abandoned construction issues. (Doug Herbert / CBC)

But Jeremy Heighton, executive director of the Business Improvement Association, is impatient.

“There is a desire to resolve things in a peaceful and happy manner,” he said. “Let’s do it now and do it as a community and take our streets back.”


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