New condos set to go up in Uptown

Paul Saroya’s new proposed mixed-used commercial and residential development will rise to new heights in Alberni’s Uptown.

Paul Saroya’s new uptown development on Third Avenue will feature commercial units below and four floors of residential units above.

Paul Saroya’s new uptown development on Third Avenue will feature commercial units below and four floors of residential units above.

Paul Saroya believes that his brand new $6 million condominium proposed for Third Avenue will be a welcome addition to the uptown area.

City council approved Saroya’s proposal to have the height of his planned building exceed the four storey (14 metre) limit.

“It will be a big building with condo units for sale,” said developer Paul Saroya.

“Two bedrooms, two washrooms.”

Below, there will be eight commercial units, according to Saroya.

Saroya, who was criticized by city council for the state of his current and former real estate ventures, said the criticism was unfair as the situations are different.

“These units will be for sale, not rent.”

Coun. Denis Sauve, who expressed concern over rental units done by Saroya in Uptown, said that for sale condo units are better than rental ones.

“Hearing that it will be sold as condos does make me feel a little better,” said Sauve.

“But there’s still so much more I need to know about the design.”

Saroya currently owns the Beaufort Hotel and owned low-rent buildings on Fourth Avenue. Those buildings, he said, had problems from the start and turned out to be a poor investment.

According to Saroya, problems with the buildings on Fourth Avenue included drunks intimidating tenants, as well as regular break-ins.

“I made a wrong choice with those buildings,” said Saroya.

“Guys would terrorize tenants and no one wanted to live there anymore.”

As far as the Beaufort Hotel is concerned, Saroya said he put $100,000 into improving it.

“A new roof, new smoke detectors in each room, new doors, security cameras,” he said, adding that the washrooms and kitchens in the 21-unit hotel have also been upgraded.

Plans to upgrade the building further cost Saroya a further $60,000 but they never came to fruition due to their high cost of implementation.

“Then I got a plan for $9 million to renovate… I’m not a rich guy, just an ordinary person,” Saroya said.

“No one will lend me that much, it’s not economical.”

Saroya hopes that his new development on Third Avenue will avoid the issues that plagued his buildings on Fourth Avenue.

“I will ask for assistance from the RCMP,” he said.

“I don’t want an old lady to move in and then someone steal their purse.”

Saroya, who’s owned the uptown lot for almost a decade, said he’s tired of paying taxes for an empty lot and would like to do something with his property.

“I’ve been paying taxes and it’s my right to build,” he said.

The building variance that Saroya had asked for from city council involved having five rather than four storeys. This would raise the height from 14 metres to 17 metres.

City planner Scott Smith had previously stated that Saroya  can build on the vacant Third Avenue lot regardless of whether or not council grants him  the variance­—the building would just have to be shorter.

“It’s a vacant lot in the middle of downtown… if more people live there, more people will shop their. But it needs to be cleaned up,” said Saroya.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

twitter.com/alberninews

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

New Vancouver Island University chancellor Judith Sayers was sworn in at a virtual ceremony June 17. (Submitted photo)
VIU’s new chancellor seeks innovation and equality in post-secondary education

Judith Sayers officially sworn in as Vancouver Island University chancellor

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read