While from the outside it may appear the Boitanio Mall residential housing project has been stalled, Williams Lake building inspector Gary Deane said a great deal of de-construction and new construction has happened internally.
“We have been in steady conversation with the design team who is looking forward to the time the exterior work begins in earnest,” he told the Tribune.
Deane said there may has been a bit more remedial work than was originally anticipated.
“Large-scale renovations always make me nervous because you don’t know for sure what is underneath the existing construction until it is exposed.”
Once warmer weather arrives it is expected the project will speed up.
“A lot of the interior framing is now in place and the builders will be opening up the existing roof to expose the interior courtyards after the structural engineer reaffirms his design (now that everything is exposed) and once the storm-water collection system is in place.”
A separate crew, under the supervision of structural engineers, is now on site preparing for the remediation and repair of the existing parkade structure which the former owners failed to maintain adequately, Deane said, noting the parkade repairs must be completed before any occupancy of the new suites will be allowed.
Originally the mall’s owner Janda Group had hoped the project would be completed late spring 2023, however, there have been some delays.
On Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, archaeological materials, including a projectile point, possibly from an arrow or a spear, were unearthed below the pavement in parking lot in an area that was being excavated for a sewer pipe repair.
Days later a fire pit and a roasting pit were also unearthed.
Williams Lake First Nation has been working closely with Janda Group on any ground-disturbing work for the project as the area was known to be a significant archaeological site from when the mall was originally constructed in 1974.
The Tribune has reached out to Janda Group for an update on the project.