Second hotel proposed on Eckhardt Ave.
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.