HomeNew Hotel for Charlottetown gets approval

New Hotel for Charlottetown gets approval

Apr 13 2010

The Guardian
April 13, 2010

A new six-storey hotel is expected to begin rising from the ground later this year after Charlottetown city council unanimously approved Monday night APM’s plans for lower Queen Street.

Council gave its OK to a height variance and a lot consolidation that will see the property development company begin work (subject to a signed development agreement) on a $22-million project called the Welsh-Owen Hotel and Plaza Development.

CEO Tim Banks is looking to develop a 120-room hotel, an underground parking garage with 66 spaces, 14 fully furnished apartment units and six condominium units.

The height variance for that location permits a height of no more than 39.4 feet. Council approved the height variance that will see the hotel rise 75 feet in the air.
Coun. Kim Devine, chair of the planning and heritage committees (which also approved the project), said the building would certainly stand out. “This is a large development, large in scale and there’s no question it will stand out,’’ Devine said after council’s meeting.

“I think it is a good development opportunity in the sense that we’re going to be incorporating heritage property. There’s going to be infill on a parking lot on a prominent corner and I think it will really change the streetscape down there and bring a lot of improvements.’’

The properties in question include 43 Queen St., 45-49 Queen St. (the former Kays Bros. Building), 49-57 Water St. and 31 Queen St. (a vacant lot at the corner of Queen and Water streets currently used as a parking lot). Devine said 74 letters were sent out to property owners in the area. The city received four opinions back, all concerned over the scale of the development.

“They were generally (concerned) about the scale of the development and how that development will affect their properties but I think what planning board and heritage board members looked at overall was the opportunity for development of this property.’’

Parking will be an issue. The building requires 184 parking spaces, yet the hotel will only provide 66 so APM will be paying the city more than $500,000, cash-in-lieu for the 118 spaces the hotel cannot provide.

Mayor Clifford Lee said the city could force APM, or any developer, to provide the parking but all that means is the developer would buy a lot, pave it and put up a lot and that’s not what the city wants. “At some point and time that ($500,000) will be allocated towards either expanding our current parking garage facilities or building new parking garage facilities,’’ Lee said.

The Homburg company, currently building its hotel on Grafton Street, is paying the city $900,000 for parking spaces it can’t provide. The city is currently in talks with the Charlottetown Area Development Corporation (CADC) over possibly expanding the Pownal Parkade.

Banks hasn’t revealed the brand name of the proposed hotel but was hoping it was going to be the Courtyard by Marriott. Construction is expected to begin in September with the hotel opening in July, 2011.

Media Contact: MediaReleases@apm.ca