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  • Downtown YMCA Redevelopment | Williams Hall

    Downtown YMCA to close housing facility
    http://www.metronews.ca/news/edmonto...facility-.html

    Edmonton’s Downtown YMCA announced Friday it will close its housing facility—currently home to 120 low-income residents.

    YMCA Northern Alberta President and CEO Nick Parkinson said the housing space is losing $100-150,000 a year, and even a two-and-a-half-year review led by board members and senior management failed to find a solution.
    Parkinson said the building at 10030 102A Ave. is currently not accessible for people with disabilities and is at the end of its life span, and updated building codes and site restrictions have made renovations impossible.

    As an example, an elevator broke down four years ago and they couldn’t get parts for it, so they had to do an elevator retrofit at the cost of $250,000. The retrofit triggered a requirement for a fire suppression system, which cost an extra $300,000.

    They also can’t meet natural light standards, because the building is attached to Sutton Place Hotel on one side and a parkade on the other.

    “The rooms are eight by 10 (feet). There’s no bathroom, there’s no kitchenette. There’s a bed and a dresser, there’s communal washrooms down the hallway. There’s no cooking facilities,” Parkinson said.

    “We’re not able to provide our residents that are staying here the support services that are needed today to help the vulnerable people that we’re dealing with.”

    The YMCA board struck a deal last week to sell the building to Edmonton-based Beljan Development, which specializes in buying and restoring old buildings. Owner Ivan Beljan said the building will likely be used for a combination of residential and commercial purposes, though no firm decisions have been made.

    "We're just at the beginning stages right now," he said.
    While losing a facility like this isn't good for the people who've relied on it, it would be interesting to see what Beljan does with this property. With its proximity to City Centre Mall and its parkade plus being next door to Sutton, there are some good possibilities.

    If it is redeveloped, first and foremost it should be something that animates a dead stretch of street that is nothing more than a parkade feeder.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  • #2
    Looking at the building from the outside at least, I think if they created retail/restaurant space at street level by eliminating the big concrete panels and added glass instead and then perhaps reducing the number of units but increasing the size of each, this could be a really good location for residents who want to be right in the core, especially being across the street from CCM, a block from Ice District, a block from Churchill Square. I too am curious what Beljan has in store.

    On another note, I wonder is YMCA going to open a new facility somewhere to make up for the loss of these units? And if so, I wonder where the might go?
    LRT is our future, time to push forward.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sorry to see it go as it has served it's main function of offering temporary housing for people in transit and for those new to Edmonton and needing a place temporarily. Only in wasteful North America would one consider this well built concrete constructed building to be old and not fit for future habitation. The rooms are small maybe but it's not supposed to be a Hotel. Over forty years ago after a 20+ hour journey on the Greyhound from Winnipeg, I was glad to find a place that would accommodate me for just a few weeks and I cannot say that the building, not being up to Code on Natural Light Standards, ever affected my well being. The room I rented had an enclosure with Toilet and Hand-basin. Every floor had a Shower Room at the end of the corridor. Quite adequate for temporary use and the Cafeteria on the ground floor did a good breakfast at a great price. This facility could still be viewed as a necessary domicile for temporary accommodation and the C of E should step in and offer up some financing to allow it to continue.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Komorosky View Post
        Sorry to see it go as it has served it's main function of offering temporary housing for people in transit and for those new to Edmonton and needing a place temporarily. Only in wasteful North America would one consider this well built concrete constructed building to be old and not fit for future habitation. The rooms are small maybe but it's not supposed to be a Hotel. Over forty years ago after a 20+ hour journey on the Greyhound from Winnipeg, I was glad to find a place that would accommodate me for just a few weeks and I cannot say that the building, not being up to Code on Natural Light Standards, ever affected my well being. The room I rented had an enclosure with Toilet and Hand-basin. Every floor had a Shower Room at the end of the corridor. Quite adequate for temporary use and the Cafeteria on the ground floor did a good breakfast at a great price. This facility could still be viewed as a necessary domicile for temporary accommodation and the C of E should step in and offer up some financing to allow it to continue.
        Maybe you missed it that over these last forty years, the building got forty years of use and not the necessary maintenance and the YMCA doesn't have the funding to modernize it.
        You can reminisce, I'm sure it had its day, but that the reality today is that it's a run down building with a use that doesn't have the social services structure to prevent it from fostering crime.

        Comment


        • #5
          As we progress with our plans I'll keep the forum updated.

          Comment


          • #6
            ^ can you say if you're looking at repurposing the structure only, or more open than that?
            Let's make Edmonton better.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JayBee View Post
              ^ can you say if you're looking at repurposing the structure only, or more open than that?
              Translation please.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Edmcowboy11 View Post
                Looking at the building from the outside at least, I think if they created retail/restaurant space at street level by eliminating the big concrete panels and added glass instead and then perhaps reducing the number of units but increasing the size of each, this could be a really good location for residents who want to be right in the core, especially being across the street from CCM, a block from Ice District, a block from Churchill Square. I too am curious what Beljan has in store.

                On another note, I wonder is YMCA going to open a new facility somewhere to make up for the loss of these units? And if so, I wonder where the might go?

                The YMCA stated pretty clearly that they are getting out of the business of homelessness (which they never intentionally entered.)
                Let's make Edmonton better.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by EdmTrekker View Post
                  Originally posted by JayBee View Post
                  ^ can you say if you're looking at repurposing the structure only, or more open than that?
                  Translation please.
                  What is the scope of the project: reusing the existing concrete, or are they contemplating perhaps demolishing and rebuilding?
                  Let's make Edmonton better.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I saw a small crowd of folks, some in hardhats, others with clipboards or drawings in hand, touring this building today. All tenants cleared out a few weeks ago, and the YMCA signage has all been stripped from the awnings.
                    “Son, one day this will be an iconic structure shaping Edmonton’s skyline.”

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I believe Beljan has purchased the building. Not sure if that was mentioned anywhere.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That's correct. They are looking at micro-suites.


                        Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by IanO View Post
                          That's correct. They are looking at micro-suites.
                          And more than just that. We have some cool plans for this building. I'll be able to share more over the coming weeks.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Looking forward to hearing what can go in there. I'm all for it if it will bring new life to the building and to that stretch.
                            LRT is our future, time to push forward.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ChrisD View Post
                              Originally posted by IanO View Post
                              That's correct. They are looking at micro-suites.
                              And more than just that. We have some cool plans for this building. I'll be able to share more over the coming weeks.
                              Hopefully retail along a street that's in real need of life.
                              Edmonton, Capital of Alberta

                              Comment

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