VANCOUVER - Renovations for 13 provincially owned Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside will begin now that the project agreement has been signed with Habitat Housing Initiative (HHI).
The project will upgrade the buildings for the 900 or so residents - improving amenities such as dependable heat and hot water availability; restoring the heritage value and appearance of the century old buildings; and making sure these properties continue to provide safe, affordable homes for those in need for many years to come.
In addition, the project agreement includes skills training for 60 FTEs as well as providing development and employment opportunities for Downtown Eastside community members over the construction and maintenance periods of the contract.
During renovations, residents will be provided with temporary alternative accommodations when necessary and they will maintain access to support services provided by the non-profit housing operators. Beginning with the Marble Arch, Gastown and Washington hotels in early 2013, all construction activities are expected to be completed by spring 2016.
The capital cost for the project is $143.3 million, which includes $29.1 million from the Government of Canada through the P3 Canada Fund. The Province also will provide funding for a 15-year maintenance agreement, which includes life cycle, repair and replacement of building components and systems.
The 13 SRO hotels, recognized for their historic significance, are generally more than 100 years old with structural, plumbing and electrical infrastructure that requires renewal. They were all purchased within the last five years and have had initial upgrades and renovation work done. In addition to the upgrades, the aging hotels will be restored, preserving their heritage features and the historic character of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.
Members of the Habitat Housing Initiative team include:
- Forum Equity Partners
- Brookfield Financial
- Ameresco Canada
- Merrick Architecture
- Darwin Construction (Canada)
- Black & McDonald Ltd
- Greenroots Strategies
The 13 SRO Hotels:
- Marble Arch Hotel, 518 Richards St.
- Gastown Hotel, 110 Water St.
- Beacon Hotel, 7 West Hastings St.
- Cordova Residence/Cordova Rooms, 56 Cordova St. East
- Dominion Hotel, 210 Abbott St.
- Hazelwood Hotel, 344 East Hastings St.
- Marr Hotel, 401 Powell St.
- Orange Hall, 329-341 Gore Ave.
- Roosevelt/Molson's Bank Building, 166 East Hastings St.
- Sunrise Hotel, 101 East Hastings St.
- Tamura House, 398 Powell St.
- The Rice Block, 404 Hawks St.
- Washington Hotel, 177-179 East Hastings St.
For more information: http://www.bchousing.org/Initiatives/Renovating/SRO