Nanaimo can now picture what a conference centre hotel will look like.
A development permit application for the Courtyard by Marriott hotel, including artists’ renderings, has been submitted to the City of Nanaimo by PEG Development.
The hotel will rise nine storeys with 155 rooms, up from the original plan of six storeys and 118 rooms. It includes a bistro with patio and indoor pool.
“The design and overall layout looks amazing,” said Coun. Jerry Hong, a member of the city’s design avisory panel. “We’re really happy with it, so I’m excited to see it go through.”
He said even with the additional storeys, the hotel is well within height allowances.
A city staff report on the design plan notes that the building design meets guidelines.
“The street wall is very transparent, which makes the streetscape visually interesting and appears to meet the minimum 75 per cent ground floor frontage to be windows and/or entrance ways,” the report notes.
Hong said the bistro patio opening onto the sidewalk makes the site inviting, “so that corner won’t be an abyss.”
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The developer hadn’t submitted a landscape plan with the development permit, but Hong said considering the size of the site, there isn’t a lot that would have to be done.
“I don’t think that’s going to be a problem,” he said. “I think they’re going to be able to knock it out of the park with their [landscape] design plans.”
The councillor said he’s pleased to see the hotel project advancing.
“That’s exactly what I love, is there’s no delays…” he said, comparing the project to previous conference centre hotel plans. “The other ones, there was six to eight months of lull and not communicating and not having any idea of what’s happening.”
The city agreed to sell 100 Gordon Street to PEG Development for $750,000 this past spring. Groundbreaking could begin this coming spring, with completion by 2019.