Pickering looking to add branded hotel to City Centre Project mix

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Published June 3, 2022 at 2:44 pm

A consultant is recommending the City of Pickering entice a branded, 120-room hotel to the city centre re-development project near Pickering Town Centre.

Pickering hired CBRE Hotels in 2017 to prepare a report on the viability of a hotel in the city. The company’s conclusion at the time was two sites could support a hotel: the future City Centre Project and the Pickering Innovation Corridor along Hwy 407.

Four-plus years later Pickering asked CBRE to update their report and, with the Seaton development still many years from completion, the City Centre Project was the clear winner.

“The most suitable location for a hotel development at this time would be in Pickering’s City Centre, in close proximity to the demand generators in the area and with good visibility and ease of access from Highway 401 and the Pickering GO Station,” the report declared. “Based on a review of the existing hotel product, and on our research on the various sources of market demand, a 120-room focused-service product is considered to be a good fit for the market.”

The comprehensive report looked at economic and travel conditions (still very much impacted by COVID-19 at the time), as well as the existing accommodation market in region, including an assessment of the current facilities and the market demand segmentation.

(There are 28 hotels along the 401 corridor between Oshawa and the Don Valley Parkway in east Toronto).

With Pickering identified as an urban growth centre by the Province and major long-term generators of hotel income already in the city in the form of Durham Live, the de-commissioning of the nuclear generating station and the Seaton build, CBRE considers the city to have a “strong economic foundation” to build on.

Pickering’s City Centre “meets all current requirements and demands” the report added.

The $207 million Pickering City Centre Project is a “transformative proposal to build a performing arts centre, new central library and seniors/youth centre, along with a public ‘piazza’ on lands on the east side of Pickering Town Centre – owned by mall owners Wakefield Properties – and on the south side of The Esplanade on lands owned by the City.

The project is expected to go to tender this year.

It is hoped that the hotel, which should generate about $7 million in annual revenue in its first full year, will be open by 2025.

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