Developer waiting for approval to remedy ‘lost portion’ of collapsed Welland condos

The developer behind a Welland condominium building that had two partial collapses eight days apart in February is waiting for approval to go ahead with the next steps in remediation.

An application with the city has been made for what Joyce Morocco, a contracted spokesperson for Evertrust Development, called a rebuild permit.

This will “encompass the rebuild of the lost portion of the building as well as any reinforcing as needed throughout the building,” said Morocco.

She said more than a week ago a ground cleanup at Upper Vista Welland had been completed but did not respond Tuesday to a request for more information on what other work has taken place since a stop work order was lifted March 8.

Morocco said a “rebuild permit” does not mean the developer is starting over on the building, but that the “project is being extensively reviewed by multiple engineers and all necessary precautions and remedies are being taken.”

Jack Tosta, the city’s chief building official, recently said the city doesn’t comment on details of individual building permit applications, and that once a permit is issued the scope of work is listed on it and is required to be posted at the site, “hence made available to the public.”

A previously issued order to remedy an unsafe building required a developer to provide a structural assessment report prepared by a professional engineer, said Tosta.

“The assessment report identifies the extent of the damage to the building and includes recommendations for the repairs,” he wrote in an email.

“These repairs are required to be carried out under a separate building permit. Once the repair work is completed the builder will then be able to commence construction in accordance with the scope of the original building permit,” he added.

On March 31, Ministry of Labour spokesperson Anu Dhar said 18 orders and requirements had been issued to Evertrust since the first collapse, which occurred Feb. 18.

The Tribune filed a Freedom of Information request on March 9, asking for names of all contractors, subcontractors, architects and engineers who have worked on the Upper Vista Welland build.

The city’s site inspection reports were also requested.

Planning and development director Grant Munday and corporate communications manager Marc MacDonald said this information would need to be sought through the FOI process.

On Tuesday, deputy city clerk Laura Bubanko said in a letter the city has granted The Tribune’s request.

Thirty-three site inspection records, a list of contractors, subcontractors, engineers and architects are being made available.

The first collapse was followed by another eight days later at the 266-unit condo building on Prince Charles Drive.

Since then, minimal details about the cause of the incidents have been released, as both Evertrust Development Inc. and the ministry have cited an ongoing investigation as the reason why.

The project has a construction value of about $55 million.

A partial demolition started on March 6.

Both collapses occurred on the south tower of the project on the west side of the Welland Recreational Canal.

Evertrust Development remains subject of a $10-million lawsuit brought forward by residents of the developer’s Niagara Falls site, citing poor conditions at that building.


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