Demolition day arrives for eyesore, former downtown McDonald's

Eyesore being demolished

Sarita Patel

UPDATE 5:00 p.m.

On Monday, demolition of the former McDonald’s at Harvey Avenue and Water Street started.

The city spent $2.05 million earlier this year to purchase the property and settle legal claims launched by the McDonald's when the restaurant was closed in 2007.

Graham Hood, strategic land development manager for the City of Kelowna says it was a symbolic day. 

“This has been in the works for a long, long time starting with the protracted legal action and now, earlier in the year to city closing on the transition to acquire the property and now working through all of the required abatement and finally now starting to see that come down it’s a bit of a special moment I think for a lot of people.”     

The city says it hopes to make a proposal by next year for what will replace the restaurant.

“There’s a lot of environmental clean up to occur on this site so we’re working through the remediation process right now and looking at alternatives for the redevelopment,” Hood adds.

He says the city owns some adjacent land and they’re looking at how they can incorporate that in their future development. 

Hood says it was important to buy not only this property but others such as the former Husky Station across the highway allowing them to beautify Kelowna. 

“Between the ownership of those two sites moving forward we’ve got a real opportunity to really shape the way people see our city as they come across that bridge and into Kelowna. 

ORIGINAL 10:50 a.m.

A longtime eyesore at the entrance to Kelowna is finally being torn down.

The City of Kelowna has started demolition on the former McDonald's at 1746 Water Street after a lengthy biohazard and asbestos mitigation process.

The city spent $2.05 million earlier this year to purchase the property and settle legal claims launched by the McDonald's when the restaurant was closed in 2007.

McDonald's filed suit against the city in 2009, claiming the redesign of Highway 97 and the construction of the William R. Bennett Bridge resulted in the closing of the restaurant.

Castanet News will be speaking with the city about the demolition later this afternoon. It is expected the demolition and cleanup will take a couple weeks.

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