Saskatoon

15-storey hotel and spa complex to fill Parcel Y at River Landing in Saskatoon

Construction on the new hotel and spa at River Landing is expected to begin this year and be finished by 2018.

Construction expected to begin this year and finish by 2018

A preliminary rendering of the Alt Hotel to open in River Landing in Saskatoon. (submitted by Lemaymichaud Architecture Design)

A 15-storey hotel and spa complex will be built on Parcel Y in River Landing in Saskatoon.

Montreal-based Group Germain Hotels will be working with Greystone Managed Investments Inc., Victory Majors, Triovest and the City of Saskatoon to build the complex.

"This new location, in the vibrant River Landing area of the city, represents our third Alt Hotel property in the western provinces," co-president of Group Germain hotels Jean-Yves Germain, said in a news release.

"It's an ideal location and an exciting marker of the steady progress towards our goal of offering 20 properties to visitors across the country by 2020."

The complex will be located northeast of Spadina Crescent East and 2nd Avenue, in front of the Remai Modern Art Gallery. The hotel will have 155 guest rooms, 4,000 square-feet of meeting space, a fitness centre, and space for a restaurant.

In April 2015, the project was estimated at $300 million. 

Construction is expected to begin this year and be finished by 2018.

In the release Saskatoon Mayor Don Atchison says, "River Landing was once a vision and is now a reality."

In addition to the Alt Hotel, the 2.84-acre extension will feature a condominium development, and two properties for both office and commercial space.

The parcel is owned through a joint venture between Regina-based company Greystone and Victory Majors. Real estate advisors Triovest will be the development and leasing manager for the project.

"It's a tremendous step forward in what we believe is one of the more important land developments in Saskatchewan," Ted Welter with Greystone, said in the release. 

"Based on pre-leasing interest and momentum, particularly in office space, we look forward to the execution of the future phases of this development over the coming months."
A Calgary developer envisioned condominiums, a hotel, and office and retail space on a parcel of land known as River Landing in Saskatoon. (Lake Placid Developments)

Parcel Y's decade-long history to development

The Parcel Y project has hit numerous snags over the years.

Original developer, Lake Placid Developments, initially proposed an ambitious plan for the site back in 2007.

That plan included a hotel, residential condo tower, and two office and retail buildings surrounding a public plaza and a pool. It was intended to be the property tax-generating jewel in the crown of Saskatoon's ambitious riverfront redevelopment, River Landing.

Since then, the lot, which is seen by many as the city's most valuable piece of real estate, has sat empty.

In 2010, Victory Majors paid the city $5.2 million to purchase the site. At the time, the project cost was an estimated $200 million. The company founder Kay Nasser said he would stick to the project's original design, and was confident he could raise the money needed to complete it.

However, the project continued to stall as Nasser worked on design changes.

Previously, Nasser told CBC about the challenges in development.

"In all fairness, it is probably a 300-plus million-dollar project, and there's not too many that are being built like that in Saskatchewan with private dollars," Nasser said in April 2015.

"So it's fairly challenging, but we're fairly confident we can get something going. We just have to roll with what the market it demanding."

At that time, Victory Majors received approval from Saskatoon's mayor and council to bring Greystone into the project, taking on an interest of more than 49 per cent.

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