Reliance Properties has announced plans to rehabilitate the historic Fairfield Block building on Douglas Street at Cormorant Street across from Victoria City Hall.
Built in 1912, the Fairfield Block has been used as a transient accommodation/rooming house and includes 62 residential units along with 9,248 square feet of ground floor commercial space.
If plans proceed, Reliance Properties will maintain the building's residences as affordable market rental apartments.
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Six ground floor commercial units total 9,248 square feet and front onto Douglas and Cormorant streets.
Victoria City Council voted “reluctantly” Thursday to give an emergency grant worth $162,500 to help wind down a beleaguered affordable housing project at the Fairfield Hotel building on Cormorant Street.
The grant is for the same amount that the Pacifica Housing Advisory Association owes the city after it broke a 10-year, $500,000 agreement to house low income tenants at the 62-bed property last fall.
“It’s a conversion of funds but making it clear it’s from one use to the other,” said Bill Eisenhauer, a city spokesperson. He noted that the money from the original housing grant can’t be used to support the wind down of the project. Therefore, the decision means the city doesn’t have to pay out any new money, but Pacifica is effectively off the hook for the debt it owed for breaking the agreement, which has been converted into the grant.
In 2017 the city paid $250,000 upfront to support the residence, and now Pacifica will be able to use the remaining funds — about $120,000, according to a city report — to continue operating the Fairfield facility while working to rehouse current tenants.
...Pacifica is effectively off the hook for the debt it owed for breaking the agreement...
Another well-played fiscal move by the CoV.
Brand new glazing on the side of the building is a huge improvement.
Click here to view image.
This is such an attractive building. Glad to see it getting some rehab love...at least on the exterior.
A heritage building across from Victoria City Hall that until a year ago provided housing for the homeless is on the market for $7.85 million.
The Fairfield Block, built in 1912 and designated as a registered heritage commercial building, had a 62-bed rooming house on its upper two floors. But the Pacifica Housing Advisory Association ended its lease at the former Fairfield Hotel, citing the Douglas Street building’s age, stairs that were difficult to navigate, a lack of kitchens and the fact there were only four shared bathrooms.
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