Lukewarm response for high-rise hotel proposal
A proposed hotel for downtown St. John's met with both applause and skepticism at a public hearing on Tuesday night, as details were presented on the proposed 12-storey Hilton Garden Inn.
About 30 people attended a hearing at St. John's City Hall on the hotel, which has not yet been fully evaluated by city staff nor put to council for a vote.
The Hilton is planned for the corner of New Gower Street and Springdale Street, and would be built west of the existing Delta Hotel and conference centre. The lot is currently vacant.
The 10 residents who spoke had a variety of opinions, from a poor reaction to the height to support for developing a barren patch of land.
Resident Ryan Crocker said he'd like to see the plan go ahead, in part to shift development away from the nearby heritage zone in the downtown, where height restrictions are much more severe.
"I think we need to expand our downtown. St. John's is a growing city," Crocker said.
"If we want to preserve all of our heritage that exists east of Waldegrave Street, then we need to let development happen somewhere. So west of Waldegrave is the proper place for it. There are a lot of decrepit lots," he said.
Architect Ron Fougere was pleased with what he heard from the public forum.
"Every time we have a public hearing, we're looking for views and how people feel about the design and how they feel about the ideas we have," he said.
"We thought we got some pretty good support tonight, it's nice to see," said Fougere.