Another prominent hotel chain is planning to add to the ByWard Market’s stable of accommodations with a new lodging near the Andaz Hotel.
Toronto-based Bayview Hospitality Group has submitted a planning application to build a 17-storey, 224-room hotel at 116 York St. under the Hampton Inn by Hilton banner. A surface parking lot currently occupies the site.
Bayview founder and CEO Alnoor Gulamani told OBJ the company, which recently opened a new hotel in Kanata under the Homewood Suites by Hilton brand, had “been looking for opportunities to grow in Ottawa” and zeroed in on the ByWard Market as an area that was ripe for accommodations aimed at budget-minded tourists and business travellers. It bought the York Street property about a year ago.
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“There is a shortage of rooms in the downtown core,” Gulamani said. “When we looked at the hotel market, we realized that except for the Andaz, there hadn’t been a new hotel built in that market for a very, very long time.”
The developer is proposing three levels of underground parking at the site with spaces for 63 vehicles. The company says it expects most guests to arrive by other means, such as public transit, taxis or ride-sharing services.
The project requires council approval because its proposed height of 59.6 metres exceeds the maximum allowed under current zoning and the site is located in a heritage conservation district. Current zoning allows for various maximum heights of 11, 21.5 or 50 metres on the property.
If all goes according to plan, the company expects to have shovels in the ground by next year with a completion date some time in 2021. Gulamani estimated the project, which is being designed by Saplys Architects of Oakville, will cost about $50 million.
The proposed hotel is located next door to a two-storey brick building that currently houses the Whiskey Bar nightclub. Earlier this year, Claridge Homes submitted an application to demolish that structure and build a 19-storey addition to the neighbouring Andaz Hotel on the property.
If the plan is approved, it would further boost Ottawa’s downtown hotel inventory following a spate of new openings and planned developments that’s expected to add hundreds of new rooms to the market.
The 17-storey Andaz Ottawa Byward Market opened in August 2016 on the site of the former Union of Canada building, becoming the luxury boutique hotel chain’s first Canadian location. Earlier this year, Quebec-based Group Germain Hotels opened its 115-room Le Germain Hotel Ottawa as part of the Arts Court redevelopment near the Rideau Centre, two years after the chain’s Alt Hotel made its debut on Slater Street.
Other new lodgings in the works for the city’s downtown core include Morguard’s two Hilton properties at 361 Queen St., which are slated to open this fall and will feature a total of 346 rooms, and Manor Park Management’s 180-unit Holiday Inn Express on King Edward Avenue and St. Patrick Street, which is now under construction and expected to be completed in 2019.