(Duck's Building/Photo by www.templelodge33.ca)

The University of Victoria will be the owners of a brand new hotel on Broad Street.

This is to be the first purpose-built hotel in the city since 2004, and will be held by UVic Properties with a long-term 99-year land lease to Chard Development. Revenue from this project will support the university’s academic programming.

The Broad Street properties including Victoria’s historic Duck’s building were initially donated to UVic by Michael Williams, a local businessman, developer, heritage conservationist, art collector, and philanthropist.

The development encompasses the following:

  • 1306 Broad St., a one-storey commercial building
  • 1312 Broad St., a parking lot
  • 1314 Broad St., the three-storey Duck’s Building
  • 1324 Broad St. and 615-625 Johnston Street, the Broad Building (Canada Hotel)

14 commercial and eight residential tenants of the Duck’s and Broad Buildings will be affected by this news.

They have been given 12 months after which they will be required to vacate the properties, and will be provided with compensation, relocation assistance, and have moving costs covered.

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Original plans

In their original proposal drafted in 2017, the university planned to use their Broad Street properties to provide 59 units of rental housing for graduate students.

However, UVic decided to change the plan after receiving provincial government funds towards an on-campus housing project that will add 620 beds for exclusive use by students.

Further, the school administration contends that the university could not guarantee that any off-campus rental unit could be reserved solely for student use anyway, due to provincial tenancy laws.

“Regarding the long-term exclusive use for students, according to the Tenancy and Residents Act property managers would not be able to move students along after they were no longer students (to then provide the space to another student),” said UVic media relations director Denise Helm, in an email to Victoria Buzz.

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Indeed, the Act confirms that as of December 2017, fixed term tenancy agreements in BC can no longer require a tenant to move out at the end of their term except in the case of a sublease agreement, or if the landlord is an individual rather than a company.

Instead, the new university-owned hotel will provide 135 rooms to service Victoria’s tourism industry.