After a decade-long delay, redevelopment of the old Charles Camsell hospital is expected to take a step forward that asbestos removal is nearly complete.
The hospital in the Inglewood neighbourhood was closed in 1996.
Architect Gene Dub and other investors bought the property in 2004 but little has happened since then, much to the dismay of area residents. Dub blames the delay on his former partners and the cost of removing asbestos.
“Much more money had to be accumulated to take out all of the asbestos. We just ran into asbestos everywhere we turned in this building.”
Removal should be complete in about a month. At that point, Dub says he can start marketing the project. Once he sells 100 units, work can begin in and around the existing structure to transform the old hospital into 230 residential units.
Residents say they’ve heard that promise before.
“We've kind of come to a stop,” said Bernie Pettigrew from the Inglewood Community League.
“We've been treading water way too long so let's get a little bit of swimming happening in this pool.”
Dub understands why residents may be skeptical.
“I really feel bad about the way its happened for the sake of the people who live across the street from this site,” he said.
“But I'm hoping it will all pay off in the end. I think the final product will be exciting.”
A fire broke out on the roof of the hospital on Saturday after a torch used by workers ignited some insulation.
However, damages were estimated at only $5,000 since the rooms were slated for demolition.