Hotel developers regrouping, sitting tight

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Plans for a hotel in downtown Petrolia are officially on hold.

That’s according to Christine Greydanus of the Enniskillen Pepper Company. The family announced plans for a four storey hotel in the downtown in Aug. 2018 on a lot left vacant by a fire years before.

Plans called for a 25-room, four-storey boutique hotel with construction planned to begin in March 2019.

By September 2019, construction was still delayed as the town and the builders worked out a plan to allow work to be carried out on two parcels of land at the same time.

In July 2020 – several months into the pandemic – the developers were still hoping the work could begin. With two years of restrictions, and the purchase of what is now Kingswell Glen Golf Course, the construction didn’t get off the ground.

Monday, council was asked to rescind the bylaws which outlined the project. Council agreed but Mayor Brad Loosley expressed disappointment that the hotel was not moving ahead. “They’ve decided not to proceed,” said the mayor.
Councillor Joel Field agreed the news was a disappointment but noted “we’re in a changing world” which is making people rethink plans.

Christine Greydanus says the family has not abandoned the project, they’re simply regrouping to see what plan will work best and are biding their time to see what the economy and the marketplace does in the next little while.

“We’re not making any decisions one way or the other, (about) when we’re going forward. But we are going to tweak our site plan, because we have different lands. We’re just shifting things around and holding tight right at the moment,” she told The Independent.

“All we asked was that they removed that site plan, because we’re switching properties around anybody that’s speculating is doing just that – speculating.”
Greydanus adds the economy is a major factor in the decision to sit tight right now.

“Things really picked up as far as travel. But it’s been devastating for the hospitality sector. We need to see that all corrected itself before we make any plans on it go forward basis.”