There are tentative plans to have the fire-damaged Villa Fontana apartment building in Langley City replaced with a bigger structure, a spokesperson for the owners said. (Langley Advance Times file)

Fire-damaged Villa Fontana to be torn down

Owners of Langley City building considering replacement

Owners of the fire-damaged Villa Fontana apartments in Langley City plan to demolish the wood-frame three-storey at 5609 201A St. and build a new, larger building in it’s place.

James Klein, who managed the building and the neighbouring Stardust Court complex for the Langley-based Crossroads Enterprises company, told the Langley Advance Times “it’s easier just to tear it down.”

On November 29th of last year, a three-alarm fire that started in a second-floor unit of the aging low-rise caused substantial fire and smoke damage and left residents homeless.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Fire strikes Langley City apartment building

Remediation crews are currently working to remove the asbestos from the boarded-up older building before it is completely demolished, Klein said.

He said the tear-down should be completed by the end of June or early July.

Crossroads is considering applying to build a newer, bigger building with 50 to 60 units and underground parking, Klein has been told.

It would also offer rental suites.

Carl Johannsen, Langley City director of development services, confirmed the owners have been in discussions with the city, but a development application hasn’t been filed.

READ MORE: LETTER: Langley apartment fire leaves 68-year-old homeless

Cran Campbell, a pensioner who lost his home in the Villa Fontana fire, said he ended up having to rent a smaller suite for more money in the immediate area.

“I had to give a lot of my stuff away,” Campbell related.

Campbell had tenant’s insurance, “so pretty much all my costs were covered” with the exception of the deductible.

He doubts he will be able to afford the new building, which will likely charge substantially higher rents.

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