Bricks uncovered in an old building at the Water Street and Queensway site of a planned new hotel for downtown Kelowna will be salvaged for future use around town.

Brick salvage starts today at downtown site for new Kelowna hotel

The old buildings at Water Street and Queensway contain historic bricks supplied by a long-gone local brickmaker.

Starting today, the salvage of what the developer of new hotel planned for downtown Kelowna calls “historically-significant” bricks on site of the future hotel starts

Reclamation of the bricks at the existing old, one-storey building at the corner of Water Street and Queensway, will precede demolition of the structure so a 24-storey hotel can be built on the site by Alberta-based developer Westcorp.

The salvage work is being done by a local company, Folio Building Group.

In preparation for the demolition, a hazardous materials investigation of the existing building revealed the concrete stucco on portions of the exterior contained asbestos.  Removal of the stucco revealed brick walls which Westcorp learned, after speaking with Amanda Snyder, the curatorial manager with the Kelowna Museum, were sourced from Knox Mountain and a company calked Kelowna Brick Works.

After discussions with the city and the museum, Westcorp asked Shane Styles at Folio Building Group and his masons to oversee and conduct reclamation of the bricks.

Some of the reclaimed bricks will be used on the nearby Kelly O’Bryan’s building that has the same brickwork as part of its structure, a small number will be used by the Folio Group on some infill buildings in South Pandosy, other bricks will be donated to the Kelowna Museum and the remainder will be given to the City of Kelowna for use in various other locations in the downtown core.

“While demolition activities have been delayed as a consequence of the discovery, (Kelowna director of community planning and real estate) Doug Gilchrist  and Shane Styles (of Folio) have reacted very quickly coming to Westcorp’s assistance with this, and we are very pleased that plans are now in place that will assure the preservation and reuse of these historically significant bricks.”  said Gail Temple, Westcorp’s vie-president of stakeholder management.

Once the brick reclamation has concluded, demolition of the building will commence.  New temporary pay-parking stalls will be available a couple of weeks later.

Construction for of the new hotel has been pushed back to later this year or early 2017.