Calgary business owners demand compensation after downtown road closures
Several retail stores located near the office tower at the corner of 6 Avenue and 1 Street Southwest in downtown Calgary are looking for compensation for lost business.
The businesses couldn’t open Monday as streets were closed after glass fell from a broken window in the Brookfield Place high-rise.
Streets in a three block radius of the office tower were closed to traffic and pedestrians Sunday when the glass on the tower’s 23rd floor broke and fell into the street. The streets remained closed until Monday afternoon as crews worked to clean up the mess.
The staff at the Good Earth Café on 1 Street couldn’t open until 2 pm Monday.
Owner Amyn Noorani said the closures meant they missed the breakfast and lunch business.
“We are the only one on the street level, the rest [other businesses] are connected to the plus-15. We don’t have any plus-15, so nobody can access to our store, so that’s an issue,” Noorani said Monday.
It’s the second time in two weeks a broken window from Brookfield Place closed the same streets and stores in the downtown block.
The owner of Breslauer and Warren Jewelers said his business depends on foot traffic, and wants the building owner to pay for his lost day.
“I feel they should be compensating the merchants who couldn’t open,” Richard Breslauer said. “Certainly their insurance company or their contractor can look after it, but we’ve suffered.”
“That’s what we are looking for, at least for the day right,” he said. “They can see our sales for the Mondays and they can give us the compensation.”
Brookfield Properties issued a statement to Global News, in which they said the glass was from a single panel of glass from the 23rd floor.
“We cooperated with local authorities to ensure the immediate surrounding areas were safe and secure for pedestrians, vehicles, construction workers, and the broader community,” the statement said. “No injuries have been reported and we are actively investigating the cause of the incident. We have completed a visual inspection of all glass panels in the building and have not identified any further issues.”
“The safety of our employees, construction contractors and the residents of Calgary is of the utmost importance, and continues to be our priority.”
” This matter appears unrelated to a separate incident from earlier this month in which a piece of window washing equipment impacted the façade of the building due to extremely high winds, causing a broken glass panel on the 51st floor. Likewise, there were no injuries reported in that instance.”
The manager of building regulations at the City of Calgary said the company is cooperating with the safety investigation.
“That is exactly what we’re looking at. Is it around manufacturing? Is it around installation? Or is it around other external factors?” Marco Civitarese said.
“That’s what we’re looking at right now and we’ve asked for those types of scenarios to be investigated on the rest of the building as well.”
Civitarese said the broken glass incident on Sunday is not connected to the one that happened Oct. 15, adding they had separate causes but it’s not clear if wind played a role.
Barricades closing the streets around Brookfield Place were removed just after 2 p.m. Monday, 28 hours after the window broke.
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