A former McDonald’s restaurant that was involved in a years-long legal battle with the City of Kelowna will soon be wiped from the Okanagan landscape.
Located on Highway 97 near the W.R. Bennett Bridge, the long-vacant building at 1746 Water St. is scheduled for demolition in October, the city announced on Thursday.
Removal of asbestos and lead will begin next week.
Environmental protection measures will be also put in place while the building is being levelled, as it sits beside Mill Creek, and invasive elm trees there will be removed.
The city bought the site in May for $2.05 million, following a longstanding battle in which the restaurant filed a lawsuit after Kelowna realigned the highway following the construction of the bridge in 2007.
The restaurant ceased operations in 2007 during road realignment, the city said, with McDonald’s claiming land and business losses against the municipality.
When the city announced it had purchased the 0.725-acre site, it did so via a news release titled “City acquires new lot and we’re lovin’ it.”
On Thursday, it continued the theme with a news release titled “Demolition and a side of fries.”
“Demolishing the building is necessary as it’s fallen into disrepair from extended vacancy and, due to proximity to the creek, it doesn’t lend itself well to repurposing,” Graham Hood, Kelowna’s strategic land development manager, said.
“This property represents a unique opportunity for future redevelopment and ensuring it is in attractive condition for lot consolidation and future redevelopment options are beneficial to the city’s long-range financial and capital plans.”