A big splash yesterday as Gastown developer Jon Stovell and ITC Construction announced the arrival of micro-lofts to the city, at 270 square feet and renting for an average of $725. My story in the Globe is here, though it’s only the beginning of the saga.
I’m curious to know whether this could happen with other Downtown Eastside hotels that can’t get the permission or won’t pay the fee to demolish or convert, but want to upscale a little. Would the city also allow them to create micro-lofts? I talked to Wendy Pedersen from the Carnegie Community Action Project after my deadline yesterday and she said there are three other hotels sitting empty, the way the Burns Block (Stovell’s project) was before he took it over and decided to do the micro-lofts.
You’ll notice in my story that no new developments would be allowed to build condos of this size — only existing buildings that are being renovated. And presumably only existing buildings that had small rooms already. I can’t imagine the city would allow a developer to take a regular apartment building with 50 units and make them all smaller to squish in 75.
Lots of thorny questions here to consider.