Tenants allowed to return to Duncan-area apartment building that closed for retrofitting work

Tenants allowed to return to Duncan-area apartment building that closed for retrofitting work
The Magdalena is pictured in July 2022.

An apartment complex in the Duncan area has reopened nearly two years after its developer applied to have tenants evicted so it could complete major remediation and retrofitting work.

In summer 2022, frustrated tenants of the 64-unit rental building called “The Magdalena” were told that developer WestUrban Developments was applying to evict tenants so it could conduct renovations.

At the time, tenants told CHEK News they were upset with how the matter was handled, saying that problems at the building had persisted for years and that they should’ve been given more warning before they were forced to leave.

“They have known for months that they were going to be doing a mass eviction, but they didn’t tell anybody,” said tenant Gordon Griffiths at the time.

“We could have been out looking for places.”

READ MORE: Tenants facing eviction from North Cowichan rental building

Most residents scrambled to find new housing, but several remained where permitted.

“We are grateful to the Municipality of North Cowichan for working with us throughout this process and especially, for helping us ensure that as many residents of the Magdalena as possible were able to remain safely in the building without displacement during the aforementioned upgrades,” said Terry Hoff, COO of WestUrban Developments in a release last week.

On April 3, WestUrban Developments said it had completed an “extensive transformation” of the building, bringing the Magdalena up to all seismic safety requirements and the Canada Building Code.

The company added that the problems at the Magdalena also came as a surprise to WestUrban Developments.

“Like many others in the community, our team was taken aback by the revelation that the third-party engineering firm responsible for the building’s structural design failed in their duties,” said Sean Roy, CEO of WestUrban Developments.

“Our top priority at WestUrban has always been the safety and satisfaction of our tenants, and the work carried out by our team at The Magdalena reflects these principles.”

SEE ALSO: Despite public ‘information deficit,’ Langford removes signs warning to stay away from RidgeView

With files from CHEK’s Mary Griffin

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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