Renovation project moves ahead on Downtown Eastside

October 26, 2012

VANCOUVER – Habitat Housing Initiative has been selected as the preferred proponent to renovate and restore 13 provincially owned Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

The hotels will be renovated sequentially, beginning with the Marble Arch, Gastown and Washington hotels in late 2012 or early 2013. Construction is expected to be completed over the next five years. An early works agreement will allow pre-construction work to begin at the Marble Arch Hotel immediately.

Alternative accommodations for residents will be found while each building is under renovation. During this temporary relocation, tenants will maintain access to the support services provided by the non-profit housing operator and they retain the right to return to their original units once the work is complete.

The 13 SRO hotels are more than 100 years old with structural, plumbing and electrical infrastructure that requires renewal. They were all purchased within the last five years and 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.

The Province will contribute $87.3 million toward construction and implementation costs, plus additional funding over a 15-year maintenance period. The Government of Canada is contributing up to $29.1 million through the P3 Canada Fund.

Members of 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.

  • Washington Hotel, 177-179 East Hastings 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.

The next stage in the process is to conclude negotiations with Habitat Housing Initiative and enter into a fixed-price, performance-based agreement.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) evaluation was undertaken by a team of experts with experience in the following key areas: social housing, engineering, architecture, heritage and finance.

A fairness adviser, Joan Young, McMillan LLP, was appointed to oversee and monitor the entire evaluation process to ensure that it was fair and followed the requirements outlined in the RFP. The report of the fairness adviser will be made publicly available once completed on Partnerships BC’s website

Media contact:

Seumas Gordon
BC Housing
604 439-4789
604 417-5791 (cell)

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