North Grenville Council passed a by-law at the Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, July 9, to allow for the creation of a 2-acre lot in the Colonnade Retail Centre that could house a Comfort Inn Hotel.
The request for the lifting of part lot control for that part of the Centre was brought to council by Director of Planning and Development, Philip Gerrard. He reported that the lifting of part lot control in commercial subdivisions is a common process that allows interested businesses to acquire the size and shape of lot they need for their particular development. In this case it is two acres of a large lot at the corner of County Road 19 and Ryan’s Well Drive.
“Of course the news of a hotel is fascinating, given the protracted delay of another hotel perhaps of the same franchise?” Mayor Nancy Peckford asked at the meeting.
Phil confirmed that the same hotel chain was looking at building in the Rosewater subdivision across the road. “I would imagine there would be advantages to this one over the Rosewater development, because the roads are in place, the pipes are in the ground and the Rosewater subdivision hasn’t even been registered yet,” Phil told council. “This is shovel-ready.”
Choice Hotels had announced in January, 2018, that it would be building a four-storey, 74-room Comfort Inn and Suites at the intersection of Rideau River Road and County Road 43, right near the off ramp of Highway 416. At the time, Brian Leon, Managing Director of Choice Hotels Canada, had said that the hotel will also include meeting and fitness facilities, as well as an indoor pool.
You may remember a similar promise of a Holiday Inn coming to that same stretch of County Road 43, though that project eventually fell through. According to Choice Hotels Director of Development, Graham Marsh, the scenario for this hotel is quite different. He says that he would like to think the likelihood of the hotel being built is 100 per cent. “It’s just a matter of parcelling off a piece of land to build on.”
Now that council has passed the by-law to allow the new lot to be created, it will go to the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, which is the approval body for severances and plans of subdivision. Council will have the opportunity to weigh in on the project again when it comes back to them for site plan approval. Phil says that, while the developer has confirmed that the plan is to build a 74-room Comfort Inn at the location, timelines for the project have not yet been put in place. “Once the lot has been conveyed, we will deal with Comfort Inn at that point,” he says.