Port of Argentia CEO views project as showcase for further investment opportunities
CARBONEAR, NL — Crocker’s Cove point may soon be the location of a brand new hotel.
The hotel is still in the planning stages, and nothing has been set in stone just yet, but the applicant has purchased the majority of the land on Crocker’s Cove point required for such a building. The property was listed online for $139,900.
In the proposal, it is stated that the hotel will contain approximately 45-50 rooms. Some of these rooms will be suites, facing toward the ocean and Carbonear Island.
Carbonear Mayor George Butt Jr. says the hotel will hopefully bring plenty more visitors to the area in the future, and is optimistic about the benefits of a new hotel in the region.
“If it goes ahead, which we hope it will, it will definitely have good economic benefits for the area,” said Butt. “Something like that will no doubt bring in more people, more tourists, and that means we’ll have more people to come see what the town has to offer, which comes hand in hand with some good economic benefits. It’s a win-win situation, really.”
Butt added that he’s sure there The area where the hotel is planned to be developed currently sits on a zone split between residential and conservation.
are some people in the area that won’t like the idea, but said that he and the town need to focus on the long-term benefits of a new hotel.
“Some people in Crocker’s Cove might not like the extra traffic, or might be against the idea of a bus going through there. The area already gets a lot of traffic, though, and a bus goes through there on a daily basis, so there really won’t be that big a difference, really,” explained Butt. “But we’re always open to hear any concerns from the public. That’s what’s going to help us make our decision, at the end of the day.”
The 2.97 hectare area which the hotel is looking to be built on is partly residential and partly conservation. Commercial residential uses in the form of hotels are not permitted in either of these land use designations. Because of this, the town has proposed an amendment to the plan provided by the applicant.
After a review of the area, the town has proposed to extend the residential land use designation to include the area that is planned to be developed, while adding new policies to the preexisting residential policies of the plan, ultimately allowing commercial accommodations. This amendment would see the conservation land use zone rezoned to the residential medium density land use zone.
These amendments would also enable future re-development of the property for residential use without requiring further amendments to the plan of regulations.
The deadline for public comments on the proposal was May 31.
The town has not yet received any drawings from the applicant, which are required for plans to move forward.
Butt says once things start moving forward again, a public consultation meeting will be held to allow residents to voice their opinions.
PLACENTIA, NL — Husky Energy is proceeding full speed ahead with a major extension to the White Rose oilfield, and that’s big news for Placentia and the surrounding area.
Two and a half years after the company announced it was delaying the project in response to tumbling oil prices, the time is apparently right for Husky to start work on the project, which will create hundreds of job and generate billions of dollars for the province through taxes and royalties.
For people in the Placentia area, all eyes will be on activity at the port in Argentia, where a concrete gravity structure will be built. That will tie onto the Sea Rose FPSO to pump additional product from the existing oil field. Construction is set to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, according to a Husky Energy news release issued last Monday.
“We don’t get too many mega projects knocking at the door,” Chris Newhook, acting CEO for Port of Argentia, told The Compass last Tuesday. “We see so many benefits for our community, first-of-all in terms of employment and business opportunities, and second-of-all as the port authority and the property authority, the ability to showcase this tremendous asset that we have here in Argentia for these types of things.”
Indeed, the business community is hungry to reap the rewards from economic spinoffs linked to the project, which will see a new oil platform up and running by 2022. Eugene Collins represents many of those local businesses as the executive director of the Placentia Area Chamber of Commerce.
“The spinoff effect is always a consideration, and I’m sure that our local businesses are going to be in a position to take advantage of any opportunities that arise,” he told The Compass. “We represent the big guys and the small guys, so we’d like to see everybody certainly take advantage.”
Placentia Mayor Wayne Power Jr. likewise is pleased to see the project is back on track.
“The direct and indirect economic impacts associated with this project will provide many positive benefits to our community,” he said in a news release, adding the town is encouraged to see Husky will hold supplier development information sessions devoted to procurement opportunities.
Since the White Rose extension was first announced in 2013, employment projections for the project have increased by approximately 72 per cent, according to a provincial government news release.
Placentia remains a notable service centre for communities in the surrounding area, though its population has dwindled over the last two decades. The 1996 Canadian census placed the town’s population at just over 5,000. 20 years later, that figure has dipped just below 3,500, representing a 30 per cent decline.
“Guaranteed we’re going to get some workers coming back to the island and to this area to go to work,” said Collins. “I’m sure a lot of the workers that were working in Bull Arm on the Hebron project, they’ll be looking to get to Argentia to get some work.”
Beyond the spinoff for local businesses, Newhook expects the project will give Argentia the chance to prove itself to the world and attract other companies within the offshore or marine sectors.
“This is an Atlantic Canadian project I guess from one perspective, but it’s also going to be viewed by the overall oil industry, because there’s a new technology that they’re looking to take advantage of here with this wellhead platform type of a structure — new to our area anyway, I think it’s been done in the past around the world,” he said. “So it’s going to have a lot of eyes on it, and that’s only going to serve us very well.”
Newhook said Port of Argentia’s role moving forward will be to assist stakeholders in the project and help ensure its success.
“We’re hoping to be able to work with all the stakeholders to see a positive outcome from this project so that we can perhaps even consider a second one and a third one in the future as the offshore continues to grow in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
If the hotel is built at Crocker’s Cove point, there will be a number of suites with a view of Carbonear Island.
Acting Port of Argentia CEO Chris Newhook says the White Rose extension is a substantial economic opportunity.