City council approves downtown hotel deal

Nanaimo city council unanimously approved Monday the sale of its 100 Gordon St. property to SSS Manhao for the construction of a hotel.

A new downtown hotel will make its mark on the city’s skyline. Nanaimo city council unanimously approved Monday the sale of its 100 Gordon St. property to SSS Manhao for the construction of a hotel.

“I’m very excited and extremely pleased,” said Mayor John Ruttan. “This has been an overnight success – it took only seven years.”

The building will be larger and taller than initially proposed, as the project’s architects now want a 240-room, 20-storey hotel. The initial plan was for 197 rooms and 17 storeys. Ruttan views the height increase as positive.

“We’ve always wanted as many rooms as we could get,” he said.

The revised plan still falls well within the 87-metre height limitation of the zoning bylaw, said Ted Swabey, the city’s general manager of development services.

“They’ll lock themselves into the height, the form, the character of the development permit that you end up approving,” he told council.

The revised plan includes two restaurants on the top floor, a swimming pool, retail shops, gym and spa.

Another newly revealed aspect of the hotel plan is that SSS Manhao will be granted the right to strata subdivision of the building. The hotel won’t have condominiums, but suites will be made available for sale as time-share units. Owners will be limited to two weeks of use per year.

“I guess it is, in effect, [a time share] but that’s not unusual,” Ruttan said. “A lot of developments are done in that manner … An enterprise of this size, $50 million, it does make a lot of sense and pretty well every application we ever had had a similar format.”

He said having the time-share component wouldn’t have been his first preference, but said the city would make every effort to ensure that the hotel’s block of rooms will be available as rental suites.

“We don’t need a bunch of condominiums downtown,” Ruttan said. “Desirable, but not needed – but a conference centre hotel is.”

A city staff report noted that SSS Manhao representatives stated that the company plans to invest $50 million in the hotel project. It expects to attract 70,000 tourists per year, generate $35 million annually in revenues and create more than 500 jobs.

Coun. Jim Kipp questioned the expected revenues, but said he nevertheless supports the sale of the property. Coun. Ted Greves said any skepticism among the other councillors might be because they had seen the hotel process drag on for so long.

“I’m very encouraged and very excited about this, so hopefully this turns out to be the agreement that we want,” Greves said.

The 0.17-hectare property will be sold for $565,000 including a deposit of $100,000 that will be tied to a development covenant. The foundation must be poured within 18 months and the hotel itself must be built within three years.

sports@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)
Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

An event on the lawn of the B.C. legislature in Victoria on Tuesday to remember the 215 children whose remains were confirmed buried in unmarked graves outside a Kamloops residential school. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Canada’s racist systems cannot ever be forgiven

Teen letter writer from Nunavut calls for truth and reconciliation

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

A section of proposed Harbourfront Walkway between White Eagle Terrace and Battersea Road. (City of Nanaimo image)
Nanaimo’s proposed walkway extension project estimated at $25-30 million

City asking for feedback on concepts to connect Departure Bay Beach and ferry terminal

City of Nanaimo council has approved amendments for an animal control bylaw requested by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. The bylaw includes language related to quail. (Wikipedia Commons photo)
Province asks for tweaks to Nanaimo’s animal responsibility bylaw

Ministry concerned bylaw wording could create municipal and provincial jurisdictional overlaps

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo hospital district seeks help from other districts for $1-billion project

Funding for Nanaimo Regional General Hospital patient tower discussed by committee

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Most Read