CORNER BROOK It may be still a couple of years away, but there’s expected to be an answer to the need for increased accommodations in the Corner Brook area.
Roger Jones, a developer and realtor in Corner Brook, is envisioning an accommodation complex — highlighted by the possibility of a Super 8 hotel — along the south side of Grenfell Drive and Cpl. Pinksen Boulevard.
He has inked a franchise deal with the hoteliers Wyndham Hotel Group and said the deal with Corner Brook to purchase the land is all but finalized, while the zoning process is currently gone to the public for feedback. The proposal for a hotel — commercial residential — is a discretionary use under the innovation district zone.
Jones said he is not getting too far ahead of himself, taking the long process one step at a time. He began moving on the idea about three years ago, but was held up as the city underwent establishing its Integrated Municipal Sustainability Plan.
In August, Corner Brook Mayor Neville Greeley endorsed the hotel concept in that area. He said accommodations have long been determined insufficient, especially in the hosting of major events and conferences/conventions. At times, the vacancy rates in Corner Brook are low or non-existent.
Earlier this summer, the mayor cautioned it was still only an “idea.”
Jones is also still cautious, noting there is much work to be done before it comes to fruition.
When and if he gets through the appropriate approvals with the city, he said a feasibility study will be done to determine what type of hotel would best serve this area. He believes it is the Super 8 franchise, but it could be found that another of the franchises within the Wyndham Hotel Group would be more suitable.
The five-acre lot is expected to result in a hotel with accommodations in excess of 80 rooms, with expansion opportunities of up to 130, Jones said.
“This location is very well situated to cater to sports groups, the university and the high school,” he said. “There has been identified a need for more rooms in Corner Brook, and eventually the Pepsi Centre hopes to attract many more conventions and large meetings.”
But a hotel on its own may not be a success, he said. That is why Jones expects to solicit expressions of interest for other facilities — including a convenience store and gas bar, a coffee shop, and a fast-food restaurant.
Again, he said the location is ideal for such services.
“Corner Brook is growing around that area,” he said. “With the hospital to be built there, a future residential expansion, and the new arterial road, I expect there will be a lot of traffic.”
Jones expects most of the design work to fall in place within the next year as he gets the appropriate permits and approvals in place. He referred to himself as more of a developer of the proposal as opposed to an investor.