Black Knight Inn’s eight-storey tower should be down by the end of May.
Demolition on the 45-year-old hotel began on Monday following a few months of asbestos abatement.
Brett Salomons, of Salomons Commercial realty, said thousands of bags of asbestos were hauled away.
“Demolition is going according to schedule. Everything is proceeding as planned,” Salomons said.
He said the original demolition plan was to put an excavator on the roof and remove the building floor by floor, which is the usual process in a dense urban area. But with so much room on the site, a excavator with a very long arm will be put on top of a nine to 12-metre platform to take it apart from the side.
“It very much was a Red Deer icon so I know there’s a lot of people sad to see it come down.”
The size of the building also makes the demolition project unique in Red Deer.
“Being eight stories high it’s not an easy thing to do. It is definitely something that doesn’t happen very often.”
The 98-room hotel had nine suites, an indoor pool, meeting rooms, Remington’s Grill restaurant and JB’s Lounge, an events ticket office, and was home to Central Alberta Theatre dinner theatre.
In 2020, the hotel went into receivership six months into the pandemic. An assessment revealed it had a failing mechanical system, a roof in need of repair, in addition to the asbestos.
It has since been purchased by investors.
Salomons said he couldn’t comment on plans for the site. It was still confidential at this point. But expressions of interest for redevelopment have been sought, different players contacted, and independent inquires were made, which are being worked through.
“Everything was on the table. It’s a big site.”
He was not sure when construction will start.
“Everyone wants to be on south Gaetz. It’s been a very high demand area. Every major retailer is on south Gaetz and that’s why everybody tries to be in that location. That’s why it demands the higher prices as well.”