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Province to take in $300-million from Little Mountain sale in Vancouver

Four-year-old Megan Zubot, resident of the Little Mountain housing complex, plays among art work representing past and potential tenants during a news conference in Vancouver in May 2008.

Lyle Stafford/The Globe and Mail

The B.C. government will receive proceeds of about $300-million – made up of cash and non-market housing – through the sale of the Little Mountain property in Vancouver, the province announced Thursday.

The provincial government reached a deal to sell the property, next to Queen Elizabeth Park, to developer Holborn Properties in 2008 but the price was not disclosed at the time.

B.C. now says it has concluded the sales agreement and will take in $300-million over the development period of the site. That time frame will depend on various factors, including planning approvals from the city, but is expected to take years. Construction on the site began in April.

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A social housing complex was built on the 6.2-hectare site in the 1950s. In 2007, the province agreed to sell the site and use the proceeds to build social housing.

Some people who lived in social housing at the site refused to move even as nearby buildings emptied of tenants. Last year, the province, the city and the developer came up with a plan to allow a handful of households to stay in their homes until replacement housing is built.

Under the sales agreement, Holborn is to provide 234 new social housing units on the Little Mountain site.

Those will replace 224 units from the former social housing project and add 10 new units for the Musqueam First Nation. Former residents of Little Mountain will have the first option to move back to the new subsidized housing units as they are completed.

The first building, a five-storey building with 53 apartments, is expected to be completed in 2015.

The province is using proceeds from the sale of the site for social housing throughout B.C., with half of the amount targeted for Vancouver. In addition to the 234 new units at Little Mountain, the province is developing 2,100 new supportive housing units around the province, with 1,500 of those in Vancouver.

Holborn is developing a downtown Vancouver hotel-and-condominium project. The tower was to operate under the Ritz-Carlton banner but those plans were put on hold in 2009.

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In June, Holborn and partner TA Global said the project would be part of the Trump Hotel Collection, a hotel group run by developer Donald Trump.

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About the Author
National correspondent

Based in Vancouver, Wendy Stueck has covered technology and business and now reports on British Columbia issues including natural resources, aboriginal issues and urban affairs. More

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