After 20 years of having nowhere to host sports tournament attendees or out-of-town visitors, Barrhaven is finally getting two hotels – with the possibility of more on the way.
Owner Raj Patel plans to open his six-storey Hampton Inn and Suites, a Hilton brand hotel, in July 2020.
The hotel is currently under construction at 4401 Fallowfield Rd., just off Highway 416 at the growing Citigate Business Park, and will have 102 rooms, suites, a pool, fitness centre and conference facilities. Patel said construction costs are expected to be around $18 million to $19 million.
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“I moved to Ottawa in 2015 and I saw the market was growing, but there is no hotel in the area, so I thought it would be a good place to start our new adventure,” said Patel. “I’m hoping for more businesses to move into the industrial park, and if that happens then there is a great opportunity for even more hotels there.
“We’re there to serve the community,” he added.
Patel’s proposal is among the first to break ground in what is shaping up to be a hotel building boom in Barrhaven, with three more potential properties being planned.
A second hotel is currently being built by developer Dhanwant Bhatti at 4433 Strandherd Rd. The five-storey TownePlace Suites by Marriott will have 99 rooms, according to city documents.
When first announced, it was expected to open around the same time as the Hampton Inn.
The Strandherd application says there is potential for a second phase that would include an additional hotel on the property. A fourth possible hotel is interested in the area according to Barrhaven Coun. Jan Harder, although an application hasn’t made it to the City of Ottawa yet. Patel also has a second lot suitable for additional development.
“There is definitely a lot of interest from the hotel industry. I’m not surprised,” said Andrea Steenbakkers, executive director of the Barrhaven BIA. “We are approaching 100,000 people now and we’re probably overdue for a hotel.”
Harder echoed those sentiments.
“We’ve been waiting a long time,” she said.
Harder said the absence of a hotel has been a noticeable inconvenience for out-of-town businesspeople as well as travelling sports teams and individuals visiting family in the region.
Barrhaven hosted the Canadian Little League Championships in 2015, but families had to stay outside the community.
Next year, the East Nepean Eagles are scheduled to host the Ontario Little League Championship and organizers are already set to stay at one of the new hotels, according to Harder.
In addition to the recreation and family demands from the community, Steenbakkers said having conference space will be valuable for the burgeoning business community in the area.
In previous years, the BIA has been unable to host large events, like breakfasts or annual general meetings, inside the community due to the lack of conference space.
Barry Nabatian, director of market research for Shore-Tanner & Associates, said the group conducted several studies in the area roughly five years ago and found Barrhaven could support two or three hotels.
“Probably the demand is higher now,” he said, noting the area’s rapid growth.
Nabatian said the business market for the hotels, while growing rapidly, is secondary to the larger family-based and recreation-based need for rooms. He said the hotels, once constructed and open, are likely to translate to upwards of 200 jobs in the area.
“It is convenient, it makes the business community more complete, and it will serve tourists, locals and business people,” he said. “It’s a great thing for Barrhaven; the only question is, why so late? But it’s much better late than never.”