March 13, 2018 – Tyler Kula, The Observer – A planned new 110-room hotel may be just the start of development news for Point Edward.
“It’s not that we’re just hoping to build this hotel, we are very far into it,” said Peter Tosh, director of operations with Hamilton-based Vrancor Group.
The new hotel, a Holiday Inn Express and Suites, would go between, the company’s existing Hampton Inn by Hilton – built two years ago – and Best Western Plus Guildwood Inn – purchased in February, 2017.
There’d be 22 new jobs created after the $20-million hotel goes up, Tosh said.
“There’s no question we believe in Point Edward and Sarnia,” Tosh said, calling the Holiday Inn Express layout plans – 70 standard rooms, 40 suites, tap room keys, and an indoor pool – modern, new and fresh.
The six-storey build would require a parking variance from the village, said Point Edward Mayor Bev Hand, because there’s slightly less space available then typically required.
“I’m sure it’s doable,” she said, noting preliminary talks have already taken place and the village is waiting on Vrancor’s formal application.
“They’ve done their due diligence and determined that there’s a market, so that’s great news,” she said.
Plans are to break ground in a few months and parking studies are currently underway, Tosh said.
A Holiday Inn already stands on the same Venetian Boulevard stretch, but it’s under different ownership.
That hotel was recently purchased by Sunray Group, a spokesperson with the Toronto-based property company said, noting there are no further details yet on plans for the site.
Tosh said it’s his understanding the Holiday Inn licence agreement in the area is not being renewed, noting Vrancor also looked at the property but opted to build new instead.
Vrancor likes to have multiple properties in “most markets,” he said, noting companies are sometimes nervous to build in border municipalities, fearing exchange rate fluctuations that can impact business.
“I think we’re comfortable and confident that we’ll be successful, otherwise we wouldn’t be investing in this market,” he said. “We like it.”
Meanwhile, there are “a lot of different discussions going on,” said Hand, about other land parcels in the Point.
Nothing is far enough along yet to talk specifics, she said, but noted different people have been bringing questions to village planning.
“Just the fact that people are talking makes it exciting,” she said. “So there’s potential for some things to happen all of a sudden.”
The nine-hole Holiday Inn Golf Club property, owned by local company Steeves and Rozema, is one of the parcel’s being considered for sale.
A spokesperson with the course said it’ll operate as usual in the meantime. Opening day is April 1, weather dependent, said the man, who declined to give his name.
“We’ve been told we have it for two years,” he said.
No one from Steeves and Rozema was immediately available to comment.
Hand said she’s also hopeful for news on the 16-acre former Holmes Foundry property at Exmouth and Front streets, listed last November.
“Hopefully with the spring and resurgence, hopefully they can get somewhere with it,” she said.
There’s been interest but no offers yet, said Lou Longo with Magic Realty, noting the $7-million listing has been marketed for potential hotel, high-rise and commercial uses.
It may be parceled and sold separately in more affordable chunks, he said, instead of waiting for someone to buy the whole thing.
“Once we’ve put something concrete together then hopefully we can meet with (the village) and move something forward,” Longo said.
Point Edward Gateway Inc. owns the property.
“Everybody’s hoping we can get something done sooner rather than later,” Longo said.