UPDATED: Asbestos found at Winnipeg Hotel in Grand Forks, demolition delayed

The delay in the demolition of the Winnipeg Hotel in Grand Forks is only temporary according to Summerland developer Ramesh Rikhi.

There have been delays in demolition of the Winnipeg Hotel in Grand Forks.

There have been delays in demolition of the Winnipeg Hotel in Grand Forks.

Editor’s note: Corrects phone number for Ramesh Rikhi.

The delay in the demolition of the Winnipeg Hotel is only temporary according to Summerland developer Ramesh Rikhi.

WorksafeBC required a second inspection of the hotel before demolition could begin, Rikhi said. “We were ready to demolish it and we had some initial tests done on the gyproc and the mud and it came back clean, so we sent the copies in to Worksafe. They said, ‘No it is not enough,’ so we hired a company in Kelowna, and they did over 100 spots in the building and they found some asbestos in the lino and the gyproc and also in the mud, and so we have to get some remedial work done before we move on to the demolition of the building.”

Rikhi said his company, Rikhi Developments Corp., considered several options at that point. “We were of two minds, whether to let the building stand and rent out some of the spaces for the time being (or not), but in the end we decided to go ahead and demolish it and put up a new building. We could open up the building just the way it is, but the building is just so bad that it just doesn’t look good to have any business in there right now. That’s all the hold-up is.”

Rikhi said that it was necessary to consider their options carefully because of the unanticipated expense of the remediation that must be done before demolition can begin.

“The remedial work is going to cost almost as much as we paid for the property the way it sounds,” he said. Nevertheless, he is confidant that the new liquor store his company is planning for the property will be up and running before tourist season. “We have two or three courses of action, and we are hoping to decide by next Friday,” he said. “It will probably take about a month to take the building down, so we are looking at the end of March and then April and May to build the new building and hopefully by the end of May or the early part of June we will open it up.”

Rikhi added that someone may be interested in salvaging some of the wood from the old hotel, rather than having it simply added to the landfill.

He said anyone interested in wood salvage should call him at 250-494-2981.