As two significant deadlines approach, construction still hasn’t begun on a proposed downtown hotel project.
PEG Developments is planning to build a $23-million 172-room, nine-storey Courtyard by Marriott hotel at 100 Gordon St., which is located across from the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.
The Utah-based company purchased the Gordon Street property from the city for $750,000 in 2018 and was issued a building permit earlier this year. PEG was also given a 10-year municipal tax exemption for the project.
A few months ago, PEG told the News Bulletin it was hoping to break ground at “some point” in November.
However, that did not happen and Bill Corsan, the city’s director of community development, said there are two deadlines in the hotel project that are rapidly approaching.
“I have made them very aware of those dates and they seem committed,” Corsan said.
The first deadline is on Dec. 7. If PEG hasn’t begun construction on the hotel by that date, the city can exercise an option to repurchase the Gordon Street property for $750,000.
Corsan said any decision to repurchase the property would be made by council and not staff. He also said council can decide to repurchase the property any time after Dec. 7.
“Council could wait a month, they could wait a year, they could wait two years, there is not an expiry date on that. The earliest they could do is on [Dec. 7],” he said. “My thinking is that if PEG is under construction by the end of the year then council probably wouldn’t want to excercise the option, but if we haven’t seen anything we would definitely be taking the report to council.”
The second deadline is Dec. 31. That’s when, according to Corsan, the hotel’s building permit expires if construction hasn’t begun.
“That’s a big one because at that point they need to submit a new building permit,” Corsan said.
If PEG misses that deadline, not only will it need to apply for a new building permit, but Corsan said all design work would need to be revisited.
“They have drawings done but they would have to be revised to meet the new building code because the building code is constantly changing,” he said.
There is also a third deadline that comes at the end of 2020 according to Corsan, who said if the hotel isn’t open by the end of next year, the project’s 10-year tax emption will expire. However, he said councillors can always extend that exemption if they see progress on the hotel.
“If the project is under construction, council has the ability to amend that,” Corsan said.
He said he is in regular communication with PEG.
“We are optimistic…” he said. “Like everyone else in the city, I think we all want to see this go ahead.”
PEG Developments could not be reached for comment.