As deadlines loom, hotel developer says it’s still keen on Nanaimo

The developer of a planned downtown Nanaimo hotel said in a statement it would like to break ground this year, but it has not made a commitment of when it will happen.

PEG Companies appears to be seeking additional negotiations with the city. It is unclear what the Provo, Utah company may want. The company’s statement did not provide specifics.

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The hotel’s fate is uncertain now that development deadlines are looming with no action on the site. When PEG bought the Gordon Street property from Nanaimo for $750,000, it agreed to invest $1 million on site improvements by Saturday. If that date was missed, the municipality has the option of buying the land back.

As well, if the company does not begin construction prior to month’s end, a new — and more expensive — building permit will be needed due to changes in the provincial building code. And there will be new development cost charges. The first permit cost the company $157,479.

Council also gave a 10-year tax exemption for the property, if the nine-storey hotel was finished by the end of next year. Construction timelines will likely make that impossible, even if work started immediately.

PEG Companies said in its statement that it “continues to push toward breaking ground on the Gordon Street Hotel project before the end of this year.”

A meeting is scheduled at city hall on Dec. 16, the company said.

If no progress is made then, “we may look at proposing some alternative measures at that time.

“While having to apply for another round of steep permit fees could impair the viability of the project, we are committed to exploring creative solutions and, where possible, working with the city to find compromises that will allow the project to move forward.”

Ali Monsen, PEG’s director of public relations, said in an email providing more details would be premature. “We are not going to speculate until we can connect with the rest of our stakeholders. Our Dec. 16 meeting is the next milestone, at which point we hope to have more information.”

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