Sale of Lot42 won't lead to eviction of tiny house community, owner says
KITCHENER -- An event space that hosted some of the region's largest conferences, concerts and Oktoberfest celebrations is now up for sale.
The owner of Lot42 confirmed the large former factory building is on the market.
The building is also the current home of A Better Tent City, a tiny house community for people who had been living on the streets.
According to owner Ron Doyle, those people will under no circumstances be evicted over the winter. He told CTV Kitchener on Tuesday that, if someone came with an offer but said the camp would have to be removed, he simply would not sell it.
"The commitment we've made to the people is that they have one year here on site, so whether it's up for sale or somebody buys it or whatever, part of the sale will be that they get to complete their year," he said.
Originally listed in March for $20 million, the sale just became public knowledge in the past few days. Lot42 has also shifted its function, operating primarily as a manufacturing facility.
The latest change was brought on by the pandemic.
"It gives us a bit of breathing room, because we don't have to worry about who are next client would be, because we didn't have any," Doyle said. "It looked like a large venue that catered to 4,000 plus people was years away from coming back."
A Better Tent City has been set up in the parking lot since April, and is now home to dozens of people. A fully functional community kitchen was recently added to the site.
"We are used to here, it's a nice space, it's a big space," volunteer and resident Nadine Green said. "It's perfect here, this is the promised land."
Volunteers and residents there said Tuesday that the community was thriving and ready to take on the winter.