City inspectors to tour Balmoral Hotel on Friday
Vancouver police and city officials outside the Balmoral Hotel as resident Michael Hurlburt prepares to leave the hotel for the last time pending renovations, in Vancouver, BC., June 12, 2017. (NICK PROCAYLO/PostMedia)
City of Vancouver inspectors will tour the Sahota family's dilapidated Balmoral Hotel on Friday to ensure they are making good on orders that they structurally repair the building.
Residents of the notorious Downtown Eastside rooming house were evacuated on June 12 after city engineers deemed the 105-year-old building structurally unsound. More than 150 residents were relocated to new homes and the hotel was deemed an active construction zone.
The Sahota family were given until July 14 to complete repairs to stabilize the building. The city demanded they make more than $1 million in structural repairs to the building's ground-level bar and envelope, and hire professional engineers to conduct a full assessment.
In an emailed update, a city spokeswoman said Thursday that the family was made responsible for shoring the building and have had a professional contractor doing the work.
City staff have been in regular contact with the contractor in recent weeks and the repairs are progressing as expected, her brief statement said.
"The city will conduct an inspection on July 14 to confirm the status of the shoring and confirm next steps, however until we complete the inspection, we cannot comment on the specifics of the work," she said.
The Sahotas own several single-room occupancy hotels in the Downtown Eastside, including the Regent, Astoria and Cobalt. Their real estate holding company, Triville Enterprises, is worth more than $130 million, according to B.C. Assessment.
Housing advocates have argued that the city should have used its standards of maintenance bylaw to immediately begin repairs and then bill the family upon completion.
With files from Scott Brown and Cassidy Olivier