Lions Manor residents find room at inn
Published: November 06, 2012 12:00 PM
Updated: November 06, 2012 1:27 PM
Vancouver Coastal Health is preparing to spend $6.7 million to transform a North Richmond hotel into a complex care facility.
The health authority plans to move the 93 residents and staff of Lions Manor to what is now the Executive Inn Express Hotel, at 9020 Bridgeport Rd., in the fall of 2013.
Members of city council’s planning committee had their first look Tuesday at plans to rezone the site to allow the change.
Health officials say the current seven-storey Lions Manor building is no longer meeting needs of residents and is due for replacement. The hotel is described as a temporary home, but no decision has been made on the future of the current site, 11771 Fentiman Pl. in Steveston, according to spokesperson Anna Marie D’Angelo.
“Richmond Lions Manor was built in ’72, and at that time that’s how they were built. But things have changed. People with mobility challenges have a lot more equipment. With the improved care that we’re giving, you need more space.”
The new facility will be an improvement from what residents have now, said D’Angelo, who noted the hotel already received upgrades ahead of the 2010 Winter Olympics. It will offer residents an interior courtyard, lounge and activity areas, improved accessibility for residents with mobility challenges and a secure outdoor garden.
“Having a secure outdoor space and be able to get fresh air and not have to worry is very positive,” said D’Angelo.
The health authority will not own the hotel, but will instead rent the building. Current owners are listed as Progressive Construction Ltd. and Maureen Ilich.
To set the plans in motion, city council must first approve a rezoning application from TL Housing Solutions Ltd.
According to a staff report, the renovated hotel would accommodate 94 beds
When I first read about this, I thought WTF ?
It almost sounded like an “emergency evacuation”…as opposed to any long term planning.
The original Richmond General Hospital was built in 1968….and its still open. If Lions Manor was deemed outdated…why wasn’t a plan in place to build another facility ?
What this appears to be is a failed Hotel venture in need of revenue, and “coincidentally” securing a taxpayer funded tenant ie ” Vancouver Coastal Health” .
Now don’t get me wrong….our focus SHOULD be on the well – being of the Seniors. However…what would they have done if they did not have this option…or , to the contrary…is Lions Manor really that “bad” ?
We are talking about a bunch of bureaucrats who seem to love nothing more than re – define reality with new rules, regulations and ever “higher” standards. Hotels are designed for certain clientele, not as Senior Care homes. Thus, we are taking a building not designed for Senior Care and going to spend almost $ 7 Million for “temporary” seniors home. Then what, the current owner will have an Ex hotel – now newly renovated Seniors home….will that return to a hotel ?
Will “Vancouver Coastal Health” be obligated to UNrenovate and return the ex- hotel BACK to a hotel ?
In addition, this location is in a high traffic area, and near the YVR flight path…..not that easily accessible for visitors nor a quiet low – key environment.
What I anticipate will happen is that this Hotel will ultimaltey be sold to the Gov’t ie ” Vancouver Coastal Health”, this deal is simply moving through incremental steps towards this goal. Right now its a “rental”…but ultimately it will become a purchase. This is not to say this may not be a good deal, but then again, this deal creates more questions than it does answers.
I think the Seniors and the General Public deserve much better…as this may set a precedent.