A structural assessment has found that the former Electrohome building at 152 Shanley Street is at risk of collapsing if it's exposed to another winter.

According to a press release from the City of Kitchener, the assessment found that the building has undergone “significant structural deterioration.”

The assessment was done by the city after the property owner failed to heed a January 2019 order to have one done. When bricks began falling, the city had reason to enter the building.

“Until the bricks began to fall from the building, indicating structural concerns, the city had no legal authority to enter the building,” said Chief Building Official Mike Seiling in a press release. He says previous attempts to get into the building went unanswered by the building's owner.

Residents in the area have been complaining about the building's safety--and its unsightliness--for months.

Unsafe for access

The city’s assessment was done by two city building inspectors and an independent engineer. It found a number of problematic issues with the building that require immediate attention.

“The engineer’s report concluded that the building should be considered unsafe for access, and that immediate action is required to either repair the building to a safe condition, or to begin planning for demolition,” Seiling says. “The report validates what staff observed during the inspection in April; that openings in the roof have led to extensive water damage that has affected the building’s structural integrity.”

Officials say that the risk of collapse is not immediate, but that work does need to be done right away to make it safer.

The city has issued a remedy unsafe building order, which requires work to begin by the end of May. According to the press release, there are “firm timelines the property owner must meet in repairing the building.”

Otherwise, the city can force action to remedy the situation itself.