NANAIMO — The City sees a critical step towards a proposed $22 million downtown Nanaimo hotel as another positive sign the long-awaited project will become a reality.
Utah-based PEG Developments submitted a building permit application on April 20 for a nine-storey, 155 room Courtyard by Marriott at 100 Gordon St., behind the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.
Bill Corsan, the City's deputy director of community development, told NanaimoNewsNOW he hoped the permit would be issued by July after working with PEG to make any necessary changes.
Corsan said PEG paid an estimated $15,000 to submit the permit application, a further sign the developer is serious about moving ahead with the project. The real test, he said, will be whether the permit is picked up once it is approved because PEG would be required to pay roughly $200,000 to the City at that point.
In late 2017, Nanaimo Council approved a development permit and a 10-year property tax exemption for the project. That exemption is estimated to save PEG roughly $4.5 million. The hotel is also eligible for an exemption from development cost charges, an estimated savings of $650,000.
Two hotel proposals for the previously City-owned property failed to become reality. Chinese company SSS Manhao applied for a building permit but never finished the process after missing several construction deadlines.
"We're very optimistic...Every indication right now is they're on track to break ground and deliver the hotel," Corsan said. "For at least 10 years it's been a focal point of the City as an area that's underutilized. I think this will help draw people to this area of the downtown core."
Since its original proposal, PEG increased the size of the hotel to include three more storeys and 40 extra rooms. While a detailed construction timeline has not been revealed, the hotel must be open by December 2020 to earn the 10-year tax exemption.
On Twitter: @domabassi
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