New hotel project planned on Recplace Drive

City council helped pave the way for the development of a six-storey, 110-unit hotel development on Recplace Drive on Monday.

City council unanimously approved a zoning variance for a plot of land in the River Point Landing shopping mall at 3030 Recplace Dr. to allow a hotel development up to 24 metres in height, up from the 16 m normally allowed. City general manager of planning and development Ian Wells said the variance will allow for a six-storey development, rather than a four-storey hotel.

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"It's along Highway 16 West, next door to Goodlife Fitness," Wells said. "No negative impacts are expected."

In a letter to the city, Brandon Hazard of the West Kelowna-based Braemer Group said the company is looking to develop a Marriott TownePlace Suites hotel on the site.

"All suites are extended stay kitchenette units. Featured amenities include a swim area (hot tub, pool, waterslide and some kid play structures to be determined), 2 meeting rooms, 1000 (square foot) fitness center for guest use only," Hazard wrote. "We feel that our building is mindfully situated in the center of the parcel in order to create open area between the neighbours, and thus the impact of our variance request from 16.0M to 24.0M is negligible. We also feel if this variance is granted and our project proceeds we will provide a positive impact to not only the surrounding community, but to the entire City of Prince George."

Because of the size of the parcel of land, the hotel project needs to be six stories to have a sufficient number of rooms to be economically-viable and offer competitive amenities, Hazard wrote.

Kyle Shury, president of Platform Properties Ltd, wrote a letter in support of the variance application. Vancouver-based Platform Properties owns River Point Landing and the plot of land for the proposed hotel.

"We do not foresee any negative impact to our shopping center or tenants due to the variance requested. The applicant (purchaser) has been upfront on their need to build up to six (6) stories due to the smaller footprint size of the parcel and we have been supportive of this from the beginning," Shury wrote. "We expect our tenants and the surrounding area to see economic benefits due to development of this new Marriott TownePlace Suites."

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