The call for hotel projects in Lac-Mégantic did not produce the expected results. However, it allows the municipal administration to move to another stage.
“We leave the market open,” sums up Mayor Julie Morin, saying that she is confident that developers will seize the full potential of her downtown core.
Remember that last May, after five years of delays and two promoters involved, the City went on a call for projects for “the realization of a hotel essential for our community and which will serve as a lever for the economic recovery of downtown She said.
Eight promoters were interested and two submitted a proposal as part of the call for projects ending June 10th. These two proposals were rejected for technical reasons, says Morin, but the promoters are invited to continue their efforts.
“The projects were interesting, but (…) they were deemed non-compliant by our lawyers,” she says. In fairness, it was decided to cancel the call for projects. Now we will work by mutual agreement with the promoters. The first who will be ready to make an offer to the City on one of the downtown lots will go ahead. ”
In fact, in a public meeting on Tuesday, the elected officials also decided that there would be more reserve land in downtown as was the case for almost five years.
“To facilitate the reconstruction, we raise this barrier and not only for the hotel grounds. Reservations may have been there for the time, but it is believed that this is no longer necessary. All the downtown lots are open and the developers will have to go through the usual process of the Planning Advisory Committee to come up with a land purchase. We do not change the zoning or the regulations. It will be like everywhere else in Quebec, “says the mayor.
Two interested promoters
Until 2017, two local promoters attempted to raise a hotel at this location. Neither Pierre Bédard nor Doris Roy have submitted their proposal as part of the call for projects, but both remain interested, they confirmed at La Tribune.
The last in the running, Doris Roy, already owner of the motel Le Quiet, on Laval Street, diverges of opinion with the City as for the number of rooms that the establishment should count.
While the city relies on a market study to wish a 60 to 70-room establishment, Mr. Roy prefers to stick to 40 rooms with a second phase of 20 rooms if the demand is there.
“I’m always interested,” he says. I believe in the hotel project, but the line is thin between a profitable project and a project that is not. The City did not contact me, but they have my phone number if they want to talk to me. ”
Pierre Bédard, meanwhile, was well aware of the decision of the elected announced Tuesday night, even if he did not want to comment.
He said he must return to his partners and ensures that his group is back in the race now that the land reservation is lifted.
“We are happy in a way,” says Morin, “we wanted to test the market with our call for projects and we felt that the promoters were very serious. For five years, there have always been land reservations that made things more complex. Some people who would have liked it could not submit projects because the lands were reserved by another promoter. Now they will be able to do it. ”