While I was away the news that the city is purchasing the dilapidated York Hotel became public.
I strongly believe that this is the right move for the future of not just down town but, the community as a whole really. It's been an eyesore for a long time and it's really impacted people's sense of how safe our community it.
We've been working on the purchase for a long time behind the scenes and I'm happy that it's now out in the public domain so we can finally discuss it with the community.
Of course the process isn't going to be without it's surprises as we actually take on ownership of the building. But I think, working together, we can build a solution that improves the safety of our community, reinvigorates downtown and helps some people who were being taken advantage of.
Hmmmm, I just re-read that last sentence and I suppose it might be unclear who I mean when I say "working together". Of course I mean the city (Council and staff) but I also mean community agencies who are involved in housing, addictions and social services. Those two are probably obvious and you might have guess them.
In addition to those two groups, I also mean the downtown business community (they've got a lot invested in the success of the area and have been on the front lines of the issues created by the building over the past number of years) AND .... you. Now that we can influence what happens with this property it's time that we had a community-wide discussion about where we go next and how we get there and you, the general public should have a say.
I'm looking for your feedback - get involved, tell me what you'd like to see happen with the York.
Do you have ideas for the property?
Concerns about the residents or businesses?
This is just the start of a process, let's talk...
February 23, 2010
York Hotel Acquisition Process Progresses
The City of Grande Prairie is taking steps to assume possession of the York Hotel on March 4 should there be no challenge during the appeal process.
A preliminary assessment of the building, to the best of our ability, was carried out and has identified safety concerns that may need to be addressed immediately to ensure the safety of the tenants.
Efforts are underway to assist residents and lessees with the transition once the City is able to take ownership of the premises. There are approximately 24 tenants in the hotel along with the Safari Restaurant and the Lucky Convenience Store.
The City’s plan for assisting residents includes providing Community Housing workers to assist in the transition. The City will also help with locating tenants to a new home, payment of first month’s rent and security deposit, assistance with moving and short-term storage of belongings, as necessary, and help with accessing additional resources, if needed.
“We are committed to ensuring the people living at the York Hotel find suitable accommodations so they can effectively transition into the community and move forward with their lives,” says Deputy Mayor Gladys Blackmore.
A Court of Queen’s Bench judge ruled on Feb. 3 that the City of Grande Prairie’s bid of $1.1 million was successful in a foreclosure hearing.
The York Hotel, located at 10012-101 Street was built in 1948.
“By purchasing this property, Council has positioned the City to guide development in that section of Grande Prairie in the long-term interest of the community,” Blackmore says.
Media enquires may be directed to:
Deputy Mayor Gladys Blackmore