A new site is being eyed up to situate a neighbourhood of temporary modular homes: the Holborn property.
The property is serviced, zoned for housing and close to the village, and could be an ideal locale to house 250 seasonal workers from next fall through the Olympics.
“We are obviously pursuing all options and pursuing them vigorously,” said Louise Lundy, president of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce, which is working with the H.O.M.E. (House Our Many Employees) committee to help find a solution to Whistler’s housing crunch.
“This one came up. It is quite a small site, but it is a great place — no question — and a fabulous opportunity. I am going to pursue it.”
The Holborn group have offered 1.5 acres of their site, which currently includes the Whistler Racquet Club, to the H.O.M.E. committee at a price of $1 for two years.
Developer Jimmy Yap said Holborn decided to approach the H.O.M.E. committee after attending a heated council meeting on Feb. 18, which saw over 50 business members attend to hear a H.O.M.E. presentation to council.
“Basically I saw a need for it, so I made an offer. It is as simple as that,” said Yap.
“I felt that the community really needed some form of temporary housing, and our lands are already zoned, so it will expedite the whole process.”
Yap called the municipality the next day with his offer, and last week representatives from the municipality, the chamber and Holborn met to discuss the proposal. The groups remain in discussions.
The Holborn site is slated to become a new tennis resort, seniors’ housing complex and market-housing complex following the Games in 2010. Until that time, however, some of the land will not be used, making the modular home neighbourhood a perfect fit.
“The location that they have specifically offered would be used for construction staging, so they would just be having trucks and stuff sitting there for the next little while,” explained Lundy.
Holborn has also offered expertise from their site development office to help get the H.O.M.E. project off the ground.
The Holborn site proposal comes at a time when the H.O.M.E. committee is also seriously looking at another area of town to put their modular homes, trailers or modified containers. The committee has been in discussions with Steve Bayly, the co-owner of a four-acre plot of land across from Mons Road, for several months.
Bayly’s site also provides a viable location for the temporary housing since it is flat and close to transit. And, Bayly has offered to have the site serviced by fall.