Times Colonist

Nanaimo deadline missed

Project builders were granted three extensions

- ROBERT BARRON

NANAIMO — The City of Nanaimo’s private partners in the Port of Nanaimo Centre project have missed another deadline in its contract with the city to build a $50-million hotel next to the completed centre.

Millennium/Suro was supposed to have the concrete footings for the 18-storey, 170room hotel poured by May 31 but, other than some excavation at the constructi­on site next to Piper Park, no concrete has been poured to date.

Millennium/Suro has

already been granted three extensions by the city to the original deal to build the hotel, which was supposed to have been built and opened at the same time as the rest of the Port of Nanaimo Centre, which is scheduled to open this weekend.

However, the city’s partners had difficulti­es in finding funding for the hotel.

However, city officials are not overly concerned by Millennium/Suro’s delay in pouring the footings and are not expecting any formal requests by the developers for another extension to build the hotel, which is expected to be completed by 2010.

Al Kenning, Nanaimo’s deputy city manager, said there is “no question” the constructi­on of the hotel is “somewhat delayed.” But he said the developers are in the process of finishing the hotel design and work at the site is progressin­g this week.

Mayor Gary Korpan said he expects an update on the hotel’s constructi­on at the next council meeting on Monday.

“However, it’s my understand­ing that the land has been excavated and some constructi­on has begun so work is proceeding,” he said.

“As far as I’m concerned, as long as work is ongoing at the site with the intention of building the hotel, who’s to complain?”

Calls to Millennium/Suro were not immediatel­y returned.

According to the contract, the city stands to pocket $450,000 and obtain design drawings and other documents prepared for the hotel if Millennium/Suro do not start constructi­on on schedule.

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