TERRACE IS about to get its first tourist and business traveller accommodation development in years.
Two real estate deals on back-to-back properties give Smithers-based Sunshine Inn Estates Ltd. just over two acres of land with frontage on Hwy16 beside Kalum Tire and on Lazelle Ave beside the Terrace Bowling Alley.
Plans are for a full-service, multi-storey hotel with privately-owned condominium suites on the top floor, says Sunshine owner Kim Tran.
He’s now negotiating with the City of Terrace for a height variance but says the development could very well be four storeys high.
“What I would be looking for are condominiums on the top floor, 14 of them,” said Tran of his plans to date.
And with a projected 100 hotel rooms, the Sunshine development would be larger than its existing properties in Smithers, Houston and Burns Lake. At 58 rooms, Smithers is the largest Sunshine development so far.
Tran said he has been considering Terrace as a hotel location for several years, even before the economy improved thanks to existing or planned large scale industrial developments.
“I looked at existing properties and saw there would be opportunity,” he said.
The name of the local development will be Sunshine Inn Executive Suites.
If all goes according to plan, Tran wants a construction start this spring.
A final design has yet to be set but Tran said a construction price tag anywhere from $12 million to $16 million is possible.
“This is going to be a very nice place. It’s going to have the latest in hotel design,” he said.
Tran said the planned condominiums could attract people who spend warmer months here but colder months in more southern climates.
The first Sunshine development in Burns Lake opened 13 years ago, Smithers followed four years ago and the one in Houston is just six months old.
ReMax agent Rick McDaniel, who handled the real estate purchases for Tran, said the property is ideally situated.
“It’s a good location with highway frontage and just half a block from the Skeena Mall and downtown,” said McDaniel.
The vacant highway frontage property had been owned by Progressive Ventures and the Lazelle Ave. property, which contains a house, by a family.
A number of building locations were also looked at, a list that included the former Skeena Cellulose sawmill site, the old Co-op property and the airport lands.
“It’s exciting to get a new hotel. It’s going to open the town up to all sorts of possibilities,” said McDaniel.
He noted that traveller accommodation can be hard to find because of the improving economy and that hosting larger scale events can be difficult to host because of the limited number of beds.