Collingwood residents are preparing a warm welcome for new neighbours who will move into a local hotel bought by the City of Vancouver for nonmarket housing.
But they’re not going to raise a toast to the idea that city hall may lease a portion of the former Ramada Inn that used to be Jaguar’s Pub and Restaurant for a new drinking establishment.
According to Angela Evans, executive director of the Collingwood Business Improvement Association, the neighbourhood prefers other uses for that space, like a family-oriented restaurant.
“As a group and as a community, we’re hoping that it’s not a pub,” Evans told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview.
Evans noted that Collingwood lacks multipurpose spaces and the old Jaguar’s area could provide a gathering place. “I know the ones who live on that site prefer not to have that [pub] again because it gives you a negative feeling,” she said. “It brings different elements to an area.”
The city isn’t ruling out the prospect that a new sports bar may open below the rooms of tenants it will bring in from the Old Continental Residence (formerly the Continental Hotel) at the north end of the Granville Street Bridge and other low-rent housing sites.
“Should the city choose to look at options, it will be in the future,” Vancouver communications director Sandy Swanton told the Straight by phone. “And at that point in time, there will be a number of conversations that will have to happen.”
According to Swanton, there are “no definitive plans for the pub-restaurant area”. When pressed to confirm that no options have been taken off the table, she replied: “All I can say is that there are no plans at this point in time.”
Vancouver purchased the Ramada Inn at 3484 Kingsway in November last year for $15.5 million. Now called the Kingsway Continental, the building will provide 123 housing units.
Minor renovations are going on, according to Jennifer Standeven, the city’s assistant director for business operations. The new residents will move in around June or July this year, Standeven told the Straight by phone.
The city is holding an information session about the Kingsway Continental at Collingwood Neighbourhood House (5288 Joyce Street) tonight (January 10) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.