Plans submitted

Kitimat to get another hotel

Designs for the construction of a 119-room, five-storey modular hotel at the entrance to Kitimat have been presented to the District of Kitimat council

Representatives from modular construction company Horizon North presented the design and development application for the Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites to council on Monday, April 8, which the company said will be completed in late 2019 should the District of Kitimat approve its development application.

The hotel will be located on Horizon North’s Crossroads site, which extends from the Kitimat visitors’ welcome centre to the entrance to Village Road, extending further back.

Alberta-based Horizon North president and CEO Rod Graham said after the positive Final Investment Decision announced by LNG Canada on October 1 last year had cleared the way for the construction of the first phase of the development, a pioneer lodge which is scheduled to open by the end of April, the next phase was partnering with a hotel group to build the hotel.

Horizon North partnered with American hospitality company Marriott International, the largest hotel chain in the world, which also franchises a broad portfolio of hotels and related lodging facilities.

Making the announcement of the deal between Marriott and Horizon North on April 1, Graham said continued growth of the company’s modular solutions business is predicated on diversifying its offerings.

“The opportunity to expand our hospitality offering to Marriott International’s modular hotel development program is key to positioning Horizon North as a leading provider of modular solutions which can reduce build times and may generate a quicker return on investment for hoteliers,” said Graham.

The Horizon North site comprises 57 acres, three which will be used to build the 119-room hotel. The original design called for 300 rooms but Graham said they had approached the District of Kitimat and secured the go-ahead to reduce that number to 119.

“We felt 300 rooms is a little stout. The last thing we want to do is dampen the profile of existing hotel rooms in the district,” said Graham.

Horizon North expects to open the first phase of the Crossroads pioneer lodge with 260 beds by the end of April and plans to expand to a potential 1,000 beds as activity in the region grows.

He said Horizon North is also considering establishing an office and retail section, which will also be modular and will be built at their plant in Kamloops.

“I would also like to see an office building go in with a food establishment on the main floor. Our intent is to make a complete showcase out of the commercial strip along the highway. We also want to make sure that strip has great curb appeal, that it’s a showcase for the district.”

He said Horizon North had made a substantial investment in the Kitimat site, which once complete, will be a showcase for modular construction.

The company invested $22 million at the site before having any units on the ground, which included the purchase of the land, civil works and site improvements – the site is fully serviced. In its submission to council, the district’s Community Planning and Development department said the plans for the hotel fall within the district’s plans under the Official Community Plan for the revitalization and development for a site that serves as the visual entrance of town.

The department has, however, asked for further information from Horizon North relating to emergency response, walkway access and stormwater management.

The councillors voted unanimously for the development application to be referred to the Advisory Planning Commission for consideration and for a notice to be issued calling for a public comment period.

All properties within 90 metres of the subject parcel will be notified.

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