The dream of turning 207 Alexander Street into an assisted-living complex may never become reality.
It’s been a year since the Department of Health and Social Services moved elderly residents from the retirement home. Then, officials said it would take “weeks, not months” to turn the building into a facility for people in need of 24-hour assistance, like those living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
But the Yukon Housing Corporation has just confirmed that the building contains hazardous materials like lead paint and asbestos. These materials, commonly used back in 1963 when the residence was built, are pricey to have removed.
That will increase renovation costs, said Marc Perreault, acting vice-president of the Yukon Housing Corporation.
“So the building’s at the point now where its life cycle is being costed out,” he said. “And it’s highly probable that the life cycle may exceed the value of that building.”
In other words, it may make more sense to demolish the building, rather than renovate it.
That decision is ultimately the government’s to make, said Perreault. It should be decided “fairly soon,” he said.
Various government bodies had a hand in assessing the building in several stages. It began with a discussion on what the city would allow the territory to do with the location, said Perreault.
Then the housing corporation discovered problems the residence had in meeting current building codes. That started a new round of talks between the government departments and possible user groups.
The corporation then sent out samples to see if there were hazardous materials within the building. Those results just came in.
“And in between that there was the bureaucracy,” said Perreault.
Challenge Vocational Alternatives plans to run the assisted-living facility. The non-profit’s president, Rick Goodfellow, was unavailable for comment before the News’ deadline.
Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at