Report recommends hotel for Sackville

A consultant’s study is recommending a 100-room hotel for Sackville, and the economic case for the hotel has received a boost from the shipbuilding contract.

The report, commissioned by the Sackville Business Association, says there is a strong business case for a 100-room hotel from a recognized chain.

The study was completed before the $25 billion federal shipbuilding contract was awarded to Irving Shipbuilding, but the report noted the contract would only enhance the business case for the hotel.

“This is fantastic news for Sackville,” said Michelle Champniss, executive director of the Sackville Business Association. “We felt there was a strong case to be made for a hotel here, and now we have the numbers to take to the developers.”

Earlier this year, the Sackville Business Association obtained a grant from the Nova Scotia government covering 80 per cent of the costs of the study. The study was precipitated by the closing of the Downsview Motel, which left Sackville without a place for visitors to stay.

The study examined demand generators, tourism trends, the existing accomodation market in the Halifax area and the share of demand that could be attracted by a hotel in Sackville, and estimated the future growth in supply and demand.

The report reviewed several sites in Sackville and recommended two as potential sites for development. The first is at the intersection of Sackville Drive and Beaver Bank Connector and the second is on Walker Avenue adjacent to Highway 101.

Each site was evaluated based on access, zoning, visibility, proximity to demand generators like the business parks and airport, and proximity to amenities like restaurants and shopping.

“We’ve had discussions with owners of the two properties that were identified as potential locations for a hotel. Both owners are open to looking at this type of development,” Champniss said.

The next step is for the SBA to take the report to hotel franchisers and try to facilitate a partnership between the property owner and a hotel developer.

“A hotel development of this type, in the heart of Sackville, would have incredible spin-offs for our business members and is long overdue for this area,” said Tara Hill, chair of the Sackville Business Association.