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New downtown Victoria hotel gets council OK

Councillors have approved a project to build a 20-story hotel with commercial and office space at the corner of Fort and Blanshard streets.

Victoria is expecting its first new hotel in about two decades.

Councillors have approved a project by developer Merchant House Capital to build a triangular-shaped tower at the corner of Fort and Blanshard streets that would house a 20-storey hotel and commercial and office spaces.

Hotel plans call for 128 units with kitchenettes and flexible living spaces suited to ­working travellers and long-term ­visitors.

The plan includes heritage designation and renovation of the neighbouring property, the three-storey 1912 ­Montrose Apartments at View and ­Blanshard streets. The developer has offered to preserve the building’s 21 units as rental for 60 years and intends to retain its street-level commercial spaces.

Paul Nursey, CEO of ­Destination Greater Victoria, said the “architecturally beautiful” building will be the first new hotel built in the city in about 20 years.

The Oswego Hotel, ­Magnolia Hotel and Spa and Victoria ­Marriott Inner Harbour are among the most recent hotels built in the city.

“What this allows is for us to really bid on more off-season major conferences and sporting events knowing that we’ll have the capacity to host them. So it was needed,” Nursey said.

There is no hotel ­operator confirmed or timeline for ­construction yet, said David Fullbrook, CEO of Merchant House Capital.

— with files from Carla Wilson