British Columbia

Unfinished Kamloops condo draws the ire of neighbours

The Mission Hill condo project has been sitting half finished for years in Kamloops. City council got an earful this week from a citizen who said the building is an "absolute eyesore" and demanded to know when construction will resume.

'It looks like some bombed out 3rd world city,' says angry resident

The second phase of the Mission Hill condo development has been in a skeletal form for over six years. (Google Street View)

Kamloops city council received an earful from an angry resident this week, demanding to know what the city plans to do with an empty shell of a condo tower that stands prominently overlooking the north shore.

The Mission Hill condo project went bankrupt years ago and the unfinished construction has been sitting atop a major bypass (the Summit Connector) ever since.

"How much longer do we have to look at the ugly, undeveloped building?" Peter Thornhill asked. "It looks like some bombed-out third world city."

Thornhill lives in the neighbourhood. The development, which consists of two phases and two adjacent buildings, has been a thorn in his side for years.

The first phase of the Mission Hill condo development is complete but still advertises units for sale. (Google Maps)

Marvin Kwiatkowski, the city's director of developmental services, said he has been in contact with the developer.

"Our news [from the last couple of months] was that they were moving ahead with that project, so hopefully we'll see something come in the door this spring," Kwiatkowski said.

Mission Hill has been plagued by financial difficulties. It was originally developed by Mike Rink, a Kamloops developer who went bankrupt.

The project was eventually sold to Brentwood Developments, a privately held Edmonton-based real estate development company, in 2012.

Kyle Braithwaite, who is the development manager of Brentwood Developments, said in 2014 that a timeline had not been set for new construction, blaming a slow real estate market.

Mission Hill's website advertises that immediate possession is available, starting at $250,000, for "luxury condominiums" from the development's first phase. (Kijiji)

'We have to live with that ugliness'

"How many years has it been now and they are still not all sold?" Thornhill said. "They've got nothing but problems. That building is going to have to come down."

"I live in that neighbourhood and I look at that all the time. It's fine and dandy to beautify the city, and then we have to live with that ugliness."

Thornhill then took aim at Kamloops mayor Peter Milobar, asking, "are you not embarrassed by this?"

Milobar said "I can understand your frustration... we're all hopeful that [the developer] will come forward in short order with the plans for the next phase. That's the hope."

As of yet, no application for a building permit has been filed.

With files from Daybreak Kamloops.