Chinese firm expected to miss Nanaimo hotel deadline

A Chinese developer will likely miss another construction deadline on a proposed 21-storey Nanaimo hotel touted to accommodate up to 70,000 Chinese youth visitors and conference delegates annually.

Its contract with the city requires Chinese developer SSS Manhao to have a foundation in the ground by May 30 or risk having the city reverse the $565,000 sale of the downtown lot.

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The developer missed a Dec. 17 deadline to submit final building plans, which cost the company its $25,000 deposit on a $250,000 building permit fee and triggers more stringent building code standards, which mean higher construction costs.

With no plans approved and no building permit in hand, the chances grow increasingly slim that the company can in less than four months complete footings that will support a high-rise building.

The hotel proposal had strong support in the business community when it was unveiled in 2013, but the delays have fuelled speculation the project is on shaky financial ground.

SSS Manhao is a subsidiary of Suzhou Youth Travel Services, a top Chinese travel company. The property deal with the city includes a 10-year tax exemption, with a requirement to set aside parking and a block of rooms for conferences.

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