There’s been a lot of speculation about whether the old Admiral will be in operation for much longer. The speculation has been going on for over two years now, and as there is actual news to report, it’s time the blog caught you up on the facts of the matter.
The Admiral was slated for redevelopment several years ago. The hotel was purchased by a group of business people, whose aim was to build a condominium on the site of the hotel. The original plans called for the rezoning and permits for redevelopment to be in place and the hotel to close its doors for the last time in June of 2009.
However, in the summer of 2008 there was a sudden economic downturn, causing a fairly major recession, thanks to the US real estate market, and the collapse of the US car industry. Additionally, early word from the Victoria City Council indicated that the proposed plans for the condominium development would not be approved by Council, so the group pulled back to wait out the worst of the recession.
They didn’t waste their time. During the next year, the group consulted extensively with neighbourhood interests and indivduals, and listened to the community’s concerns about the location, proposed structure, density and parking issues, to name only a few of the concerns addressed in the consultation.
In November of this year (2010), a new plan and application for rezoning of the property was submitted to Victoria City Council. The council will take a close look at the development proposal, its possible impacts on the area, and if approved, the public meeting will be held in February.
If the process proceeds with no obstructions, and council approves both the rezoning and the development plans, construction for the new development is expected to start in the fall of 2011.
So, how does all this affect the Admiral as we know it and love it today? Until February, there is no effect. We are open for business, our rooms are filling up, and we are taking reservations for a year in advance, as we always have. Our housekeepers are smiling as they clean the rooms, Jeff & Felix and Arwen still keep the rooms in good repair and paint everything that doesn’t move (and us, if we don’t move fast enough!), Deb is still general manager and part time desk clerk.
And even if the proposal is approved, the hotel won’t close its doors immediately. It’s impossible to give a hard and fast date, but the liklihood is that we will be in operation until the summer, at least, and possibly longer, depending on how quickly things come together, if the proposal is approved.
But what if it’s not? Then, all bets are off, and we’ll be open as long as we’re open. It will take more time to figure out what to do with the property, and as long as there is no plan, the Admiral will be open for business. So don’t fuss, and don’t worry – call ahead for a reservation and we’ll book you in, and welcome you with a warm smile when you arrive. We aren’t going anywhere for a while.
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