Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Hotel Proposed for Waterfront Drive

Winnipeg City Council will consider a lease agreement soon to build a hotel and restaurant at the Alexander Dock, on the Red River.

      On  February 14th, the City’s downtown development committee approved a lease agreement to allow Sunstone Boutique Hotels to develop a multi-storey hotel on Waterfront Drive.  The committee voted to grant a 50-year lease to the developer that is connected to the condominium development on the west side of the street.

City officials said preliminary plans show Sunstone wants to build a three-storey hotel with about 60 rooms. The company plans to  also redevelop the Harbourmaster building into a restaurant.

This  proposal is the latest to develop the area around Alexander Docks, which saw two failed attempts to develop the area in 2007 and 2008.

St. Norbert Councillor Justin Swandel, who chairs the downtown development committee, has downplayed the significance of building a hotel on this historic site. This was where Victoria Park was located, one of the three major parks the City created at the turn of the 19th century.

He also did not acknowledge that the hotel could block the view of the river for residents and those traveling along Waterfront Drive.  If constructed, the hotel will be the only commercial development and physical structure along the entire west side of Waterfront Drive.

Sunstone will be appealing for a zoning exemption on July 4th. The Downtown Development Committee will hear the appeal and both supporters and critics of the proposed hotel will also be presenting their positions.

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