10/26/2013 04:21 EDT | Updated 10/26/2013 04:26 EDT

Janion Hotel Micro-Condos Approved In Victoria

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A micro-condo project in Victoria's historic Janion Hotel has met with the city's approval after council gave the go-ahead to redevelop the aging property on Thursday night.

Lawmakers unanimously approved a development and heritage alteration permit that will allow Reliance Properties to add a six-storey structure to the rear of the Janion building and restore it for commercial and residential use.

Reliance hopes to turn the building into over 100 micro-lofts between 330 and 590 square feet in size, which are expected to cost around $100,000.

The lofts will have built-in wall beds with dining tables and electrical ports in the furniture. The building will also have a boardroom and social rooms that face the waterfront.

Coun. Chris Coleman told The Huffington Post B.C. that the Janion development is enormously positive for Victoria's downtown, as it restores a building that was constructed in 1891 and has sat abandoned since 1973.

"It's been sitting there in former glory wasting away to nothing," he said.

"We have a project that comes forward and completely restores the front facades that people actually still like, it does a lot of heritage retention on the inside."

The Janion development had some detractors among neighbours who felt it would reduce their property values and obstruct their views of the water. But that wasn't enough to sway council against it.

"It's council's job to protect public views, not necessarily private views," Coleman said.

"We have to be sympathetic, but we don't constrain a property owner because it will have an impact on viewscapes for private owners."

The project is similar to the Burns Block, another Reliance property on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Units in that building range between 226 and 291 square feet.

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