Heating issues plaguing businesses located in the SOPA Square development along Pandosy Street have been going on long before the new owners bought the building in 2016, according to a statement from Aquilini Group, which owns the building.
David Stark, vice president of the group, said the complaints raised by several businesses last week are valid, however the issues stem from before it aquired the building.
“The affected portion of the heating system was installed prior to Aquilini ownership of SOPA Square,” said Stark.
“The problems you have cited, including the tile falling, are from areas of the building that had an occupancy permit issued from the City of Kelowna before we purchased SOPA Square.”
Last week, Silent Noise Jewelry, Tru Frozen Yogurt and Canadian Brewhouse and Grill all came forward claimingthey’ve been without heat at their stores for up to a month.
Stark said the Aquilini Group has been in close contact with the SOPA strata and its occupants to work on the issues and make the necessary repairs.
He said he’s also been working with Tru Frozen Yogurt and Silent Noise Jewelry to help address one of the heating issues at the development.
“HVAC technicians have been working tirelessly to repair and test (the heating system) to a point where it can work consistently and hope to have it working mid-week for the short term,” said Stark.
“Long term, an insurance claim has been made by the strata and the full replacement of this section of the system is likely, but an engineer is involved in reviewing the failure and the replacement.”
Stark said temporary heaters have also been provided to the two business while the problem is being addressed.
While the Aquilini Group said they’re working on the repairs, Tru Frozen Yogurt store manager Jennica Shelton said she’s had at least four different heating/AC issues at her business over the last two years.
Stark said a separate heating issue at the Canadian Brewhouse and Grill is also being worked on by crews.
“A compressor failed in an HVAC component and the strata had to order it from back east, but it should be installed in the next day or two,” said Stark.
Toilet blockages at the brewhouse are also being addressed, Stark said.
“The plumbing issues are under investigation with multiple plumbing companies and potentially engineers to determine the cause and division of responsibility.”
Canadian Brewhouse & Grill general manager Glenn Smith said the latest flood occurred at his brewery just a few weeks ago when the all of the ladies’ toilets failed to flush.
Since construction began at SOPA Square, it has entered receivership at least once.
According to SOPA’s website, there are 28 restaurants and stores in the building.