The Whistler Chamber of Commerce has taken a step forward in securing the Holborn property for a temporary neighbourhood of modular homes.
The group has prepared a business plan and wants to hire a consultant to determine the costs involved, according to chamber president Louise Lundy.
And both the chamber board and the Whistler Housing Authority have agreed to use the remaining funds from the H.O.M.E. matching project to pay for the consultant work. The funds total about $15,000.
“It is our number one option,” said Lundy of the Holborn site.
“It is currently zoned for employee housing, it is fairly close to servicing, it is a great location near the village, it is ideal… And in the time frame we are talking about, to actually turn over the keys and have someone occupying it by November this year, it is really the most feasible site that we know of so far.”
Lundy added that the consultant will help determine who will take legal responsibility for the project and sign leases with Holborn, since the chamber wants to remain at arm’s length from the project.
The H.O.M.E. task force — which involves the chamber and the WHA — was launched in 2006 to look for solutions to the local housing crunch, which was heightened when Shoestring Lodge closed.
The latest H.O.M.E. proposal is to find a site to house 250 seasonal workers in modular units and trailers from the fall of 2008 through the Olympics.
Lundy cautioned that while the Holborn property is the most promising location so far, the H.O.M.E. committee has not ruled out other potential sites.
“We are still in the research stage, but we have a lot of will to move this forward,” said Lundy.
“I would say this is the first time I have felt pretty confident that it is actually something we might be able to make happen.”
The Holborn property currently houses the Whistler Racquet Club and is slated to become a new tennis resort, seniors’ housing complex and market-housing complex in the years following the 2010 Games.