New hotel in the works for Thornhill

The 93-room hotel will be part of the Holiday Inn Express chain

A new hotel in lower Thornhill is in the works for a 93-room operation located off of Hwy 16 between Desjardins Ave. and River Drive.

The hotel will be part of the Holiday Inn Express chain and a numbered company from the lower mainland that will own the development has applied for a rezoning and a variance permit through the Regional District of Kitmat-Stikine (RDKS).

“They’re built with the traveller in mind,” said RDKS director for the Thornhill area Ted Ramsey. “They’ll have a shuttle out to the airport, that kind of thing.”

The rezone will switch the usage of part of the land owned by the company from their current light industrial designation to commercial in order to allow for the development.

A public hearing happened yesterday in which the public could comment on the proposed zone change.

The variance permit will allow for the height extension proposed by the Holiday Inn developers who want to exceed the current limit of three storeys in a commercial zone.

The requested height is 15.35 metres, which is 3.35 metres higher than the current bylaw maximum of 12 metres.

“Higher isn’t a big deal. I would rather see it higher than wider,” said Ramsey.

This new development joins a number of other hotels at various stages of planning and development in Terrace. Already under construction is Smithers-based developer Kim Tran’s Sunshine Inn off Hwy16 beside Kalum Tire in Terrace.

And Calgary-based Superior Lodging Co-op is planning to build a 100-room hotel on the former Terrace Co-op lands on Greig Ave. Superior has a deal to buy the land from the city when  environmental work is completed.

Another numbered company is looking to develop a 80-90 room hotel on lots beside Canadian Tire on Hyw16 and Pomeroy Lodging is another company that wants to break into the Terrace hotel market after announcing its intention to purchases the Chances Terrace gaming centre.

Ramsey said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Holiday Inn Express is the first of several hotels destined for Thornhill.

“It’s the start of more than one going in I think, it’s just the start of it,” he said. “Thornhill is changing rapidly. You hear about more hotels going in.”

With new business coming to Terrace’s neighbouring community, Ramsey said impetus is growing for a much-needed sewer line in lower Thornhill and that the regional district is looking for ways to tackle the $3.5 million cost.

“The plan has always been to put a sewer line in,” said Ramsey. “The next stage is to link a commercial core into a new line.”

The company owns other hotels in the north, according to its application to the regional district.