At least three SOPA Square business owners along Pandosy Street in Kelowna have come forward to vent their frustration over heating issues in their building complex.
In 2015, the Aquilini group bought the Sopa Square development for $29.5 million after it went into receivership. Since then, the developer has built a residential high rise tower project above the commercial units.
In the latest developments, Silent Noise Jewellery owner Gadi Nussen said he has been without heat at his store for weeks.
“My heating unit hasn’t worked for a month. I’ve been told that people will be working on it and that it’s a pretty big malfunction,” said Nussen, who was wearing a jacket inside his business while on the phone.
“I haven’t seen any workers trying to fix it. I was told by the property manager that it has been affecting a few other units. I’m not too sure when the issue will be resolved.”
Tru Frozen Yogurt, a neighbouring store to Silent Noise Jewelry, has also been experiencing heating issues for almost a month.
Store manager Jennica Shelton said this isn’t the first time her store has been without heat.
“We’ve experienced at least four different heat and air conditioner problems over the past two years. Normally when the system breaks, it takes weeks to get fixed,” said Shelton.
“This has been a serious problem for us.”
Glenn Smith, general manager of Canadian Brewhouse & Grill in the SOPA complex, said the property manager isn’t offering to reimburse him for space heaters that he’s buying just to keep his facility warm.
He said a recent flooding event has also been a major eyesore for his business.
“A couple of weeks ago, we had a really busy wings night and all the ladies’ bathrooms wouldn’t flush. After, the toilets got backed up and the space flooded.”
Smith said the toilet issue has been a major drain on his business.
“I’ve called several plumbers to try and fix the issue,” said Glenn. “They usually find blockages coming from fifty feet down the toilet pipe.”
Last March, tiles were reportedly falling off the building and crashing down on the street below.
City of Kelowna planning director Ryan Smith said the tiles have since been removed from the building.
If SOPA business owners are experiencing issues, Smith said the best way for them to address the problem is to contact their strata manager.
Several telephone calls to the Aquilini group for comment weren’t returned.