In the Oct. 20 issue of prairie dog Paul Dechene did a story on a decision by Westland Properties to demolish two existing rental properties that currently house 60 households in buildings at 15-block 14th Ave and 1775 Hamilton. Here’s a link to the article.
In today’s Leader-Post there’s a story on the same topic. Vanda Schmockel (who’s a semi-regular contributor to our magazine/blog) and her partner live in one of the buildings that’s on the chopping block. They’ve received an eviction notice and must vacate their home at Crescent Apartments near the General Hospital by the end of February (that’s it on the left in the above photo c. 1912).
With Regina’s rental vacancy rate sitting at a miniscule 0.7 per cent, this is pretty much the last thing our city needs. And while the Crescents isn’t an actual designated heritage property, it has been recognized as possessing heritage value, and is on what’s known as the Heritage Holding Bylaw List. In an interview this summer, Heritage Regina’s Bill Brennan characterized the Holding Bylaw as offering a building a brief stay of execution. Heritage groups are free to make representations to city administration, but unless the property owner is on board, their wish to demolish is inevitably honoured.
In a related post on Facebook, Vanda described how she and Mark had received five rent increases in three years, and that she didn’t agree with the owner’s characterization of the Crescents as being akin to a “death trap”.