Motel forecast for Terrace B.C.’s southside

The latest proposed development is planned for a strip of land beside Polly’s Cafe in the 4900 Block of Keith Ave.

A Saskatchewan developer has plans to build a motel on a vacant piece of ground in the 4900 Block of Keith Ave. beside Polly’s Restaurant.

The list of planned and under construction motel and hotel developments continues to grow.

The latest proposed development is planned for a strip of land beside Polly’s Cafe in the 4900 Block of Keith Ave. and the owner says wants to start building as soon as he lines up financing and has the property rezoned.

In November, Saskatchewan developer Joseph Tesar purchased the section from NSD Development owner Garry Roth who also owns the 42 acres across Keith where the Skeena Cellulose mill once was.

Tesar says he is finalizing money matters and myriad other considerations to begin building an 80-room, four-storey franchise motel.

“This will cater to workers in the area and who are coming to the area over the next couple of years,” said Tesar.

Describing it as a “no frills hotel” the developer says “it will have highly competitive rates, probably beating most of the other hotels by ten, twenty, thirty per cent in some cases.”

“More than 25 per cent of the building will have kitchenettes, and allow short term, medium term duration stays,” he continued.

Tesar must first have the light industrial zoning of the property changed.

And while Tesar has his sights set on a spring construction starts, director of development services David Block said getting the appropriate permits will most likely take around five months.

Block added that the development does fit in with the city’s own vision for primarily the former Skeena Sawmill location called the Keith Estates plan.

It envisions turning that into a bustling urban centre of residential, commercial and light industrial usage.

“It fits exactly in with the Keith Concept, it’s blended residential commercial, so that’s a commercial property that incorporates short term housing. That’s what a hotel is. It fits exactly with the model,” said Tesar.

“It doesn’t sound like a bad component for what might happen there,” said Block.

“It seems unique,” he added.

Tesar owns a Motel 6 franchise outlet in Moosomin, Saskatchewan, but said he doesn’t want to reveal yet which franchise he would be bringing to Terrace until a deal is secured.

He said he plans to contract locally and include green energy aspects in the building design. He also said that the current forestry companies who lease buildings directly behind the lot on which he wants to build, Brinkman Forest Ltd and Coast Tsimshian Resources, will have the option to stay and are currently his tenants.