Sec­ond ho­tel pro­posed on Eck­hardt Ave.

Penticton Herald - - FRONT PAGE - By Pen­tic­ton Her­ald Staff

Asec­ond new ho­tel has been pro­posed for Eck­hardt Av­enue within close prox­im­ity to the South Okana­gan Events Cen­tre. City coun­cil will get its first look at the pro­ject Tues­day, when it con­sid­ers a zon­ing amend­ment for the four-storey, 75-room ho­tel that would go up on four lots on the 900 block of Eck­hardt Av­enue di­rectly across from the SOEC cam­pus.

All four lots have been va­cant for years; the last com­mer­cial use was a Petro Canada sta­tion that closed in 2013.

“Over­all, staff con­sider that the pro­posed build­ing will con­trib­ute pos­i­tively to the area with the in­crease in com­mer­cial area and the 75 new ho­tel rooms,” plan­ner Au­drey Tan­guay wrote in her re­port to coun­cil, which rec­om­mends in favour of the zon­ing amend­ment.

“The lo­ca­tion of the suite and char­ac­ter­is­tics of the sur­round­ing area make it ide­ally suited for com­mer­cial den­si­fi­ca­tion.”

Tan­guay es­ti­mates the $10.3-mil­lion pro­ject would gen­er­ate $79,000 in prop­erty taxes an­nu­ally, and sug­gests the zon­ing vari­ance pro­ceed to a pub­lic hear­ing Aug. 15.

Ac­cess to the ho­tel would be pro­vided by a rear lane from an up­graded in­ter­sec­tion at Al­berni Street. The site is owned by the Agur fam­ily, which op­er­ates the nearby Ra­mada Pen­tic­ton Ho­tel and Suites.

Coun­cil ear­lier this month gave reg­u­la­tory ap­proval to a new 95-room Mar­riott Fair­field Inn and Suites that will go up nearby on the 600 block of Eck­hardt Av­enue.

Mean­while, an old Pen­tic­ton ho­tel ap­pears set to be given new life as an af­ford­able-hous­ing com­plex and home­less shel­ter.

Another zon­ing amend­ment go­ing be­fore coun­cil on Tues­day would per­mit the re­birth of the 54-unit Su­per 8 Ho­tel on the 1700 block of Main Street near In­dus­trial Av­enue.

“The prop­erty was re­cently pur­chased by BC Hous­ing with the in­tent of con­vert­ing the mo­tel, through a ma­jor ren­o­va­tion, into hous­ing for those in need of men­tal health ser­vices, per­sons suf­fer­ing from ad­dic­tions and per­sons in hous­ing cri­sis,” plan­ning man­ager Blake Laven wrote in his re­port to coun­cil.

Not­ing a re­cent hous­ing needs as­sess­ment that found the city needs at least 200 more units of non-mar­ket so­cial hous­ing, Laven rec­om­mended in favour of the con­ver­sion.

“This is an area eas­ily ser­viced by tran­sit, is close to ma­jor shop­ping ar­eas in­clud­ing sev­eral fast food restau­rants, gro­cery stores and Value Vil­lage. More im­por­tantly, the site is close to the hospi­tal and other emer­gency ser­vices,” he wrote.

It would mark the third such mo­tel con­ver­sion in Pen­tic­ton, added Laven, who noted the oth­ers had “grow­ing pains,” but are now op­er­at­ing as in­tended with wait­ing lists to get into them.

The meet­ing be­gins at 1 p.m. in coun­cil cham­bers and is open to the pub­lic. Coun­cil will re­con­vene at 6 p.m. for land mat­ters and a pub­lic hear­ing re­gard­ing a pro­posed seven-unit town­house devel­op­ment at the cor­ner of West­min­ster Av­enue and Bas­sett Street.

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