Esquimalt approves plans to convert 122-room hotel into 96-units of rental housing
MIKE KOZAKOWSKI, CITIFIED.CA
Published June 27, 2017
Esquimalt council has approved a proposal to convert the township’s 122-room EconoLodge Inn & Suites into rental apartments, Citified has learned.
Situated at the high-profile confluence of Esquimalt, Songhees First Nation land, Saanich and View Royal along Craigflower Road at Admirals Road, the project – dubbed Portage West – will eventually yield 96-units of rental housing and a commercial component.
Developer GMC Projects will begin the first phase of the conversion immediately, with 14 studio and one-bedroom apartment suites expected to hit the market this fall. Additional units will be converted into the new year, with completion of the hotel’s transformation expected by the end of 2018 or by early 2019.
Made up of four two-storey buildings and a row of five cabins, the hotel complex will yield a pet-friendly unit make-up studio, one and two-bedroom apartments with layouts sized between 350 and nearly 800 square feet. Five waterfront cabins will accommodate several two-bedroom units in the 800 square foot range, while one of the cabins will feature a single three-bedroom apartment encompassing some 1,500 square feet.
The hotel’s generous surface and partially-covered parking will be maintained and will yield more parking capacity than available units at the complex.
GMC’s vision for Portage West will see the hotel grounds transformed into a waterfront community with a pool overlooking the Gorge Waterway, a communal kitchen, a clubhouse with a yoga studio, and as part of the last phase, a coffee shop or restaurant.
The EconoLodge conversion into residences is the latest such move by hoteliers in the region. In recent years several transient properties have been converted into rental apartments, including the former Queen Victoria Inn and the Dominion Hotel in the city’s downtown core. A conversion of the 13-storey Harbour Towers Hotel, one of the oldest hotel properties in the city centre, is currently before City Hall. The move to upgrade the building and transform it into rental apartments will yield approximately 200 residences. C
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