A backhoe doing demolition duties rips away at the former Crystal Court Motel on Belleville Street in Victoria. The site is destined for a seniors complex with a 15-storey tower and a four-storey residential commercial component. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Crystal Court demolition: End of an era in Victoria

Motel operated from 1950 to 2007 in the heart of city's tourist area

The demolition of a derelict building in the tourist-heavy area at Douglas and Belleville streets, has begun.

A backhoe operator was busy Thursday tearing away at the structure formerly known as the Crystal Court Motel at 701 Belleville St. Closed since 2007, the old motel is making way for a planned mixed-use seniors rental and condominium complex that includes a 15-storey tower and a four-floor section of residential and commercial fronting along Belleville between Douglas and Blanshard streets.

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Vancouver’s Concert Properties, which is developing the property under the Tapestry brand name, owns The Q rental building next door and built the nearby Belvedere and Astoria condo buildings.

Concert is the third owner of the property since 2003, when developer Austin Hamilton bought the motel from the family who had operated it since 1950. He had plans for a condo tower and a satellite location for the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, but could not get the rezoning required. Hamilton ultimately sold the property to Westbank Corp., which sold to Concert in 2014.

The seniors complex is slated to have 131 bachelor/studio, one- and two-bedroom units, plus 42 independent living condos on the top floors of the tower.

editor@vicnews.com

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