Sylvan Lake hotel back on the table

SYLVAN LAKE — A proposal for a new hotel on Lakeshore Drive has been dusted off after a year and a half.

An artists rendering of proposed hotel.

An artists rendering of proposed hotel.

SYLVAN LAKE — A proposal for a new hotel on Lakeshore Drive has been dusted off after a year and a half.

Bear Development Corp. has received municipal planning commission approval for revised plans for a 72-room hotel between 50A and 51st streets.

The original design received a conditional go-ahead from the commission in August 2008, but hasn’t proceeded.

Bert Messier, president of Bear Development, said a few changes have been made to the design of the four-storey hotel. These include the addition of a meeting room that will be able to hold about 100 people.

Demand for smaller meeting rooms at nearby Chateau Suites at Sylvan Bay, which Messier operates, convinced him there’s a local market for such space.

“We’ve had a lot of requests from people who want (space for) 80 to 100, and we have not been able to accommodate that.”

A pool, jacuzzi and breakfast room are also planned.

The exterior design conforms with the requirements for Sylvan Lake’s waterfront direct control district, including an architectural style similar to that found in communities like Cape Cod, Mass.

There will be canopied entrances on the north and south sides of the building, with parking to the south, away from Lakeshore Drive.

“It’ll be a very nice, very unique project,” said Messier.

He hopes to brand the hotel under the Best Western banner, but still needs approval from the international chain.

“We have to meet the design and operating criteria of Best Western.”

If that happens, the hotel will be called the Best Western Chateau Inn.

Construction will begin as soon as possible this spring, said Messier, and is expected to wrap up by January 2011. Steel and concrete construction should mean shorter timelines than would be the case with a wood-frame design, he added.

Using steel and concrete will also make the hotel less susceptible to fire and reduce noise levels inside, said Messier. However, it will also boost costs.

Messier estimated the total cost at about $7 million, including the land and soft costs like insurance and architectural fees.

Not only would Best Western Chateau Inn be the first branded hotel on Lakeshore Drive, it’d be the first project developed on the scenic street in seven years, said Messier.