Crews began tearing down the West Country Hotel on 56th Avenue near 202nd Street in Langley City on Wednesday morning, Feb. 24.
While an excavator ripped the 50-room wood frame structure apart, it was soaked with water as a fire safety measure.
Traffic on 56 Avenue was limited to one lane in either direction while the work was underway.
Plans call for construction of a six-storey, 213-unit rental building that will offer below-market rates on many suites, and help expand a local community garden in the process.
Council gave preliminary approval, third reading, to the project in December.
Before final approval is granted, Pennyfarthing Langley City Properties Ltd. is seeking subdivision rezoning that will allow swapping a strip of land on the east side of the nearby community garden on Michaud Crescent with an equal area of the former hotel property.
That would allow a through-lane connecting 56th Avenue to Michaud Crescent that gives fire vehicles better access, as well as seeing the community garden at Michaud expanded by eleven more plots, bringing the total to 29.
Pennyfarthing also plans to apply for funding from the federal Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) under the Federal Rental Housing Construction Financing Program, which would see a minimum 20 percent of the proposed units in the building rented at below-market maximum rents equal to 30 percent of Metro Vancouver median income, about $2,154 per month.