Developer in hot water with city after painting heritage building black

The former Dalton Hotel is on the city's heritage register and requires special permits to change exterior appearance.

Painting a building without consulting the city first can cost you – something a local developer is learning the hard way.

The Dominion Rocket, formerly the Dalton Hotel, was painted black last fall, and the city is not happy with the change due to the building’s heritage status.

“When exterior work is proposed that would result in a change [of a heritage building], a permit and consistency with guidelines are required,” said Katie Hamilton, spokesperson for the city, adding the black paint was done without a heritage alteration permit.

This oversight could end up costing the developer an estimated tens of thousands of dollars.

Jordan Milne, president of GMC Properties, the developer of the Dominion Rocket, and president of Honeycomb Real Estate Advisors, the managing entity of the building said he was aware of the building’s heritage designation and thought the chosen colours would have been acceptable.

“We painted the building with heritage colours under the Benjamin Moore heritage colour scheme; and then the city came back to us afterwards now and have said that they have taken issue with the paint job,” he said.

Milne added that the city had been advised that painting would occur, but there were no discussions of colour choice.

“It’s unfortunate, because we think that the colour scheme that’s on the building certainly gives it a fresh look and within the heritage colour scheme,” said Milne. “It’s not something that’s a simple fix, and it’s not something that we believe needs to be changed.”

He added that exterior painting was competed by the end of October, and the city did not voice concerns until the end of December.

The city’s heritage planner was scheduled to meet with the developer this week to discuss where to go from here.

Andrea Hudson, assistant director of community planning for the city said the city will be collaborating with the developer on possible solutions, but could not elaborate on what those potential outcomes might be.

The Dominion Rocket, at 759 Yates St., owned by Victoria Rocket Limited Partnership, will consist of 97 residential units, including studio and one-bedroom apartments. The main floor will remain commercial space.

The apartments were scheduled to open in March, but Milne said this may have to be delayed until June.