PTI VP talks further on lodge concept

PTI Group is seeking to build accommodations for workers coming to Kitimat.

Purchase agreements are in place but confidentiality restrictions forbid vice president Sean Crockett from giving the specifics on the land they’re seeking for their lodge.

The Sentinel reached Crockett following the PTI Group’s open house at the Rod and Gun Club where they presented their plan for a workforce ‘lodge’ to house the numerous workers anticipated to arrive in Kitimat over the next several years.

“We’re collaborating with the town administration on zoning amendments,” said Crockett. “We’ve committed to these kinds of consultations like we did…and as our application for zoning is finalized and put through the system there will be more consultation on the specifics.”

He said that PTI Group is not currently working with any particular proponent – so this isn’t a camp designed for places specifically like Shell’s proposal or Kitimat LNG – but that they’ll work with multiple clients seeking housing.

“We’re building for the market so that makes it very speculative in nature in the sense that we’re building just for anticipated overall demand and shortages of rooms,” he said.

He added, “We’re contracting to multiple clients.  Either the site operators and developers themselves for the major projects or the individual contractors that are left to find their own accommodation.”

Ensuring a benefit to the town of Kitimat is an important part of the discussion, he said, as conversations with the town have focused on that in light of concerns other area work camps haven’t added much to Kitimat’s economy and downtown revitalization.

“We could have tried to find a very remote site or be a part of the community,” he said. “Our approach was to be a part of the community.”

He said at their open house they anticipate being within five minutes from the City Centre.

“Now you have an active client base with easy access to the downtown core that could drive shopping for everything from clothing to other goods. They might seek out restaurants, food and other impact in the downtown area,” he said. “And also there’s folks who don’t go home when they’re not working, they stay in town and take advantage of tourism opportunities in the region.”

Accessing the community’s existing recreational facilities is another part of the conversation. While their lodges do often include amenities such as gyms, PTI Group will be figuring out how to best incorporate into the community, being that they’ll be near Kitimat’s swimming pool and Tamitik sports complex.

As for the eventual wrap up, he said their modular units are designed for a 25 year lifespan and it’s still to be determined whether they will be removed or if there’s potential for other uses.

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