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Sopa Square construction delays cause retailers to back out

Delays to construction of the Sopa Square development have caused about 10 per cent of expected retailers to back out.

According to Stacey Fenwick, marketing director of Sopa Square, October's nearly-record-setting rainfall prevented crews from putting a roof over the commercial space.

"Our biggest holdup is the weather, getting our roof on. Without the roof we really can't do a lot inside," said Fenwick.

This isn't the first time the commercial space opening has been delayed, according to Fenwick.

"We were expecting to get them in (last) summer and things were delayed. Then it was supposed to be before Christmas. Now it's not going to be until spring," said Fenwick.

"There are a few tenants who are backing out—about 10 per cent of them; 90 per cent are holding on."

Fenwick said she is currently working to fill those vacancies. The development has several restaurants and food markets that have stuck around, so the goal is to bring in more clothing retailers.

"I'm confident by the time we're ready that it'll be fully leased again. It's just getting more realistic on when we're actually going to be ready to be open."

The entire Sopa Square development will be an 11-storey residential, commercial and office building located in the 3,000 block of South Pandosy.

Fenwick said construction on the residential towers should begin by February or March 2013. The target is to have the 98 residential units ready by the end of 2013.

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

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