Plans for a downtown Nanaimo hotel have moved one step closer to becoming reality.
U.S.-based company PEG Development have submitted an updated building permit application for its proposed nine-storey hotel project at 100 Gordon St., located across from the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, according to a city press release.
The proposed $23-million hotel would be a Courtyard by Marriott and will now have 172 rooms instead of 155 rooms that PEG Development had proposed last year.
The city sold the Gordon Street property to PEG for $750,000 last year and is currently reviewing the updated building permit application. It expects to issue a permit by late October, according to the press release.
Coun. Jerry Hong said he is confident that the project will go forward. He said PEG Development has worked with Marriott before and he would be shocked if they didn’t follow through with their plans in Nanaimo.
“I can’t see it not happening,” Hong said.
Plans for a hotel on Gordon Street have been floated around for years. In 2015, the city purchased the Gordon Street property for $565,000 from SSS Manhao International Tourism Group, who had planned to construct a 21-storey hotel on the site for a cost $50 million, but decided not after city councillors had passed a motion that required them to obtain a building permit within six months.
At the time, SSS Manhao, who are a B.C. affiliate of China’s Suzhou Youth Travel Services, expected to attract more than 70,000 Chinese tourists to Nanaimo annually as a result of its proposed conference centre hotel.
Hong said he likes PEG’s proposal a lot and believes it has a far more concrete business plan than what was brought forward SSS Manhao. He said the fact that PEG have increased the number of rooms in their hotel project is a good sign.
“They’re are not depending on Chinese tourists,” Hong said. “Their timeline is a little bit behind what they had anticipated, but it gives me … confidence that they see a need to increase to 172 rooms. I think that shows confidence.”
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