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City of Nanaimo awards hotel project with 10-year tax exemption

A proposed hotel for 15 Front St. will get an annual tax break if it meets the city’s conditions
A rendering of the proposed hotel on 15 Front St. (Image contributed)

A proposed downtown Nanaimo hotel has won a 10-year tax exemption.

A six-storey hotel at 15 Front Street, estimated to cost $14 million to construct, will be given a $202,600 annual tax break, city council decided at an open meeting Monday.

It’s the second project to be accepted into the city’s tax exemption program, following SSS Manhao, which proposed a hotel attached to the Port of Nanaimo Centre, but later fell through.

The tax exemption bylaw, adopted in 2012, was created to encourage new hotel and motel investment, promote a higher standard of overnight accommodations, enrich the visitors’ experience and reinforce a commitment to the long-term development of the tourism, according to the City of Nanaimo.

It applies to major renovations, additions, demolitions, rebuilds and new construction with a value of more than $2 million.

As part of the terms, the hotel owner has to obtain a building permit from the city either on, or before Dec. 31, 2018 and the hotel must be opened and available for use with 90 rooms and ground-floor commercial no later than July 30, 2020.

The hotel project has already received a development permit. It is expected to have features such as a private courtyard for guests, a sky bar on the sixth floor and ground-level retail space for a restaurant or coffee shop.

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