City must deal with a lemon

Penticton council should consider taking control of the failed hockey dorm development

The short-lived development of a hockey dorm on Eckhardt Avenue has left the city holding what is becoming a huge lemon. One of the problems is that the construction to date is only good for the proposed building and so any new developer is going to have to want what is already planned. In this economic climate, it is probably going to be difficult to find a quick and easy solution to the problem.

At times like this we need to float as many ideas out there to find an answer that is a win for all parties.

One such idea is that the city could apply to the provincial and federal governments to climb on board and take over control of the development, build the dormitory units for both college student housing and entertain lease options for the hockey school. The 20 apartments on the top floors could be designated as affordable housing units, the commercial space on the ground floor could be used to house either community services under one roof or other commercial/service use. The city could then take control of the development and come to an agreement whereby the contractors can get the amount they are owed.

It may be that with some brainstorming and good ideas we can make some lemonade out of this lemon.

Julius Bloomfield