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Seniors newest tenants for athletes’ village

Holborn delay disappoints, WHA makes alternate plans


By Holly Fraughton, Claire Piech and Alison Taylor

With the Holborn seniors housing development pushed back until as late as 2016, plans are now in place to house seniors in the athletes’ village legacy neighbourhood.

According to Gordon Leidal, president of the Mature Action Committee (MAC), the Whistler Housing Authority (WHA) is recommending the allocation of up to 24 units at the athletes’ village for seniors.

These units could include the top two floors of an apartment building on Lot 8, as well as six town home units on Lot 11.

“In the papers last week, (the Holborn delay) looked like a huge setback for Whistler’s senior housing, and in a sense it was very disappointing, but something else is happening here, and this is something we’ve been working on for many months,” said Leidal.

“Now it is a reality, that means there will be seniors housing in 2010 (after the Games).”

The Holborn development, a phased project which includes a senior housing complex, tennis club and market housing, has been in the works since 2003, but was recently delayed due to the developer’s concerns over market risk and rising construction costs leading up to the Games.

Joe Redmond, president of the Whistler 2020 Development Corporation (WDC), confirmed that the WHA has asked them to modify at least one building to accommodate seniors in the new neighbourhood, which will be known as Cheakamus Crossing after 2010.

The MAC recently conducted a survey among members and received an overwhelmingly positive response in favour of placing seniors housing at the athletes’ village location.

“We were a little surprised, because we figured most people wanted to be out of the village, and of course they have been thinking about Holborn and Rainbow for a long time,” said Leidal.

But not all seniors are satisfied with the alternate plans.

Betty McWhinnie had her hopes set on the seniors housing complex at the new tennis club/housing development since 1993.

Just north of the village, the proposed housing at Holborn is close to the medical centre, the pharmacy and the village for groceries. The location couldn’t be better for the 85-year-old McWhinnie.

“As far as the athletes’ village is concerned, that is so far from the clinic,” said McWhinnie.

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