Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Jilly's strip club sold to developer
Streetcar Developments has purchased the 121-year-old landmark Broadview Hotel, at Broadview Ave. and Queen St. E., and the new vision is leaning towards a mixed-use space that may be similar to the Gladstone Hotel, which was transformed from a flop house to an upscale bar/restaurant, art space and boutique hotel.
“Although rooted in loft development, Streetcar does not see this building as a residential condominium project. We are in the early stages of planning, but our focus is to revive this building to a landmark everyone in the area can be proud of,” Streetcar’s CEO Les Mallins said Tuesday.
The strip club’s lease expired and the bar and boarding house tenants will soon be packing up so the city can complete an emergency work order to address structural issues for the new development.
Jilly’s management said Tuesday they will relocate, but it was too soon to say where.
Dancers making their way into the club for the afternoon shows said they would only give interviews for money.
A sign on the entrance door warned of communicable diseases one could obtain by touching and spells out how such conduct between patrons and dancers is forbidden by a municipal bylaw.
Queen St. E. has a seedy past with a history of drugs and outlaw biker clubhouses.
The gentrification of the hotel has been a long time coming, said James McKinnon, owner of an adjacent burger joint known as the Double D, which isn’t referring to a bra cup size but a reference to his grandfather who was known as Dangerous Dan.
“Everyone thinks they (Jilly’s) were a big problem but they had bouncers. Without them, I think the neighbourhood will lose some of its character,” McKinnon said.
“If they put in a high-end development I won’t be able to afford the rent (for the restaurant), but I own a house in the neighbourhood. If then value increases, that’s great.”
The development isn’t great news for the 40 residents of the hotel as some fear they will become homeless once they receive their 60-day eviction notice.
Two-year tenant Charles Doucette says he would happily continue living with the bed bugs, vermin, rotting interior and stench rather than face life on the street.
“I’ll have no place. I don’t know where to go to find another place,” disability recipient Doucette said in his decaying room as a guard dog growled in the neighbouring room.
“I’m afraid and I don’t know what will happen to my cat, Silence.”
Bruce Keefe and his wife pay $900 a month for a musty and decrepit room that goes black if they try to turn on a microwave.
“I’ve heard rumours (of eviction) but after three years here I’ll be happy to go,” Keefe said. “I’m not sad to move but I don’t know where. I’d like to get out of the east end.”
Hotel manager Mel Osolky says the building isn’t a rat’s nest but needs some “tender loving care.”
“It has always been the bad boy of the neighbourhood and needs a thorough clean up. We have done our best here but it’s time to move for a new development because it’s showing it’s age,” said Osolky.
“It’s a good question where the tenants will go. We have all walks of life here and take in people from social services.”
Mallins says the city is aware the tenants will be vacating.
“The tenants vary from hours to years … they will find alternative (arrangement),” Mallins said.
Councillor Paula Fletcher, whose ward includes the building, applauded the sale of the Broadview.
“I gather there is a lot of work to do on the old doll to get it fixed up,” Fletcher said.
“It is good for the neighbourhood. I do have to make sure that the people who are living there with very affordable rents have a place to go and are being looked after.”
Fletcher said a report on designating the building as a heritage site — which she requested last year — will be coming out in June.
“It’s a significant, significant building,” she said.
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