Vancouver-based Chard Developments is answering the call from Victoria tourism officials for more hotel rooms in B.C.’s capital city.
Chard expects to start work this June on the 139-room Hyatt Centric flagged hotel, located on Broad Street at the site of two heritage buildings, which will be partially reclaimed. The original rock wall of the 1874 Carriage Factory and the front and rear façade of the 127-year Ducks Building will be salvaged and incorporated into the hotel site.
Chard said the site is owned by the University of Victoria, and the company has signed a 99-year lease on the property. This will be the first hotel project for the developer.
Destination Greater Victoria is now reviewing its overall need for new hotel rooms in the city.
Paul Nursery, CEO of Destination Victoria said downtown Victoria needs 400 to 600 new hotel rooms in the next 18 months to two years to stay competitive with other cities.
“It’s hard for us to put together the supply to compete in these bids anymore, so that has huge knock-on effects in terms of our ability to tackle seasonality, and that has knock-on effects in terms of every small business, medium- and large-sized business that receives any revenue,” he told Glacier Media.
The last hotels built in downtown Victoria were the Oswego Hotel, which opened in 2007, and The Parkside Hotel & Spa, which opened in 2009, according to the tourism office.
The market has also lost hotel rooms. Two were bought by BC Housing to shelter the homeless, and the Harbour Towers Hotel was converted to a rental building.