There was quite a crowd around the Electrohome building at the corner of Shanley and Duke Street West on Saturday evening (July 14, 2012). The two fire trucks and yellow tape contributed to the interest.
This building has frustrated the neighbourhood for many years. It has been allowed to deteriorate, has severe water damage, is a source of contamination and owes several hundred thousand dollars in back taxes to the city.
Residents have contacted our representatives at Kitchener City Hall for many years as well and it seemed like virtually nothing was being done. There was an article in The Record a couple of years ago which highlighted many of the issues. The air has been found to not be contaminated and the ground pollution has not moved in many years, but nothing has been done to clean it up.
In the past couple of years we have heard reports there has been interest in the build for possible condo development and the Neighbourhood Association has been told that positive information might be forthcoming this summer.
However, on Saturday a neighbour called police because of concerns about the further deterioration of the building.
If you look at the bricks at the top and right of the picture below you will see how the exterior is starting to fall back and perhaps down. It is clear this portion of the top floor is structurally flawed and it brings into question the stability of the whole building. (Click on the picture for a larger image)
We have to wonder how a building in the middle of an active and engaged neighbourhood could have been allowed to deteriorate to this extent. Why have politicians not responded with action despite many years of citizen’s complaints?
If there is still a company interested in developing this property, what impact will this deterioration have?
Many residents have said “tear it down” or “better that it just fall down” but neither of these solutions will help remove the contamination in the ground or turn it into a viable and useful property. Residential development was a great solution but we would like someone to let us know if this is still a possibility.
For now the building is taped off and pedestrians should avoid that side of Duke and Shanley streets.
The MHBPNA Blog will provide updates as we know them.