Kamloops buying hotel, former strip club but mayor vows current residents will not be kicked out | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops buying hotel, former strip club but mayor vows current residents will not be kicked out

The Northbridge Hotel and former strip club The Duchess will soon be owned by the City of Kamloops.

The Northbridge Hotel and former strip club The Duchess will soon be owned by the City of Kamloops.

A deal for the purchase of the property at 377 Tranquille Rd. will be finalized, Oct. 22, after the mayor confirmed the city has an offer of $7.1 million on the table at a news conference today, Oct. 1.

Mayor Ken Christian sees this as an investment opportunity for the city to eventually redevelop the site, while B.C. Housing committed to purchasing the back portion of the property, 346 Campbell Ave., in the future.

"This is part of the redevelopment of the North Shore," Christian said. "Normally we like to leave the real estate market to the private sector, but there are certain needs that we have as a city."

The city purchased the property using the Housing Reserve Fund, while B.C. Housing was unable to contribute because it was not in their yearly budget.

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"We're not really into this to operate this facility, we're into this to acquire the asset," Christian said. "You have to jump on those opportunities when they come."

Christian said the city plans to sell the property to a developer in order to build market-rate housing.

There is no future timeline for that redevelopment to occur because it will be incorporated into the upcoming plan for the North Shore area.

"That is an opportunity that fits nicely into the redevelopment of the North Shore. We want that," Christian said. "We want to be able to hold that property and advance that property to the market to respond with a development I think everybody on the North Shore will be excited about."

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The tenants who currently live in the Northbridge Hotel have ben assured by their new landlords that they will not be forced to move and their rent will not be changed, Christian said.

The city previously promised a day space for homeless individuals called Envision would be opened behind the hotel. As the deal for that property fell through, the day space never materialized.

That Campbell Avenue property was part of the land deal and B.C. Housing has promised to buy that from the city with the goal of building affordable housing.

Christian could not speak about what a plan for an affordable housing facility would look like on the Campbell Avenue property. He said the current tenants of the Northbridge Hotel should be the first to relocate once a development process starts.

There is no timeline yet for when the property would be redeveloped, but Christian did add that there are no plans to renovate the current building.

The Northbridge Hotel was previously assessed at $6.1 million at market value, the mayor said. The city made the purchase above market value, but below the asking price which was listed at $7.49 million.

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