James Watkins didn’t hold back his feelings towards a National Equity management employee after Watkins said he was called “old man” as he was trying to get answers about Kensington Manor.
“You better watch your mouth when you talk to me mister,” Watkins yelled, around the time tenants of the building’s top floor were allowed inside to pack their things.
The building was evacuated two weeks ago for being structurally unsound, although problems with the balconies go back a year.
After the tirade, Watkins told reporters his patience was over.
“It’s time these people are held responsible,” he said. “They should be forcing these idiots to get down here and to deal with people, instead you’ve got guys like Don Lowe who are sitting back in his office hiding.”
Things just hit a boiling point at #Kensington Manor. This resident, James Watkins, just yelled at someone claiming to represent National Equity, says the company doesn’t understand what it’s doing to people #yyc pic.twitter.com/ZfkUTzFN3i
— Lucas Meyer (@meyer_lucas) December 6, 2017
Lowe is the owner and landlord of the building.
To say there were ups and downs Wednesday was an understatement, he said.
“Endless delays very disappointing as were assured by the contractor yesterday that all was ready as planned and and scheduled,” Lowe said in an email. “Delay was due to City and our engineers. They are very strict and insisted that the contractor attend to outstanding issues. This is out of our control.”
Residents of the top floor were told they could get to their units at 6 a.m. Wednesday by National Equity, but that didn’t happen until 11:30 a.m.
Wayne Brown, City of Calgary Safety Response Unit Coordinator, said shoring complications pushed the entry time back.
“It was the decision of the professional engineer at site,” he said. “Shoring on a structure like that’s complicated, so the professional engineer worked with the contractor, went through it very, very carefully and ensured the shoring was in place.”
Brown said a safety code officer was on site Tuesday night and there was “a shot” for 6 a.m., but the problems persisted.
He said there’s also an investigation into who owned the building prior to National Equity.
In the meantime, December 13th is the scheduled day for tenants to collect more contents and move out, so a professional engineer will conduct another inspection.
But Watkins takes issue with the date.
“Obviously they’re not going to make that if they haven’t been able to get people in at all and that I can only move out at 8:30 p.m., how do you move out at 8:30 p.m. and move into somewhere else?” he said. “It’s unrealistic to expect that everbody who moved out of here has found a place that they can get into before the end of the month.”
“If I have to, I’ll leave all my stuff up in there, they can tear the damn buildling down around it, I don’t care, I am fed up with this, National Equity should not be allowed to be doing business in this city,” Watkins added, saying thankfully he was able to get his cats out of the building.
Lowe said more moveouts are scheduled for Thursday morning at 6 a.m., which should go smoother.
“We believe that we have dealt with every eventuality,” he said.
Another tenant who requested to remain anonymous was caught up in the chaotic morning.
“I received an email, though from what I’ve learned they don’t have a full contact list for all of the people renting in this buildling, so a lot of people found out second-hand or haven’t found out yet,” she said. “I sent an email sending my request in and I didn’t get a response for I think about three days.”
As of 4 p.m., National Equity said only two units remained unattended on the top floor.