Friday, November 28, 2008

Christmas Comes Early.....Hats Off To Mr. Homburg

Santa showed up in Charlottetown yesterday with a great announcement for Downtown Charlottetown which could be the turning point for a new resurgence of opportunity for the downtown core.... This investment will help restore some confidence to some of the regional players in the financing and real estate development market and Charlottetown may get back on their radar as a place in invest.... Great work Richard and all the best on your new's welcome news...
$45M development for downtown Charlottetown to proceed
Friday, November 28, 2008
CBC News
The developer hopes to have the hotel complete for the spring of 2010. (CBC)
Homburg Invest intends to proceed with a $45-million development in downtown Charlottetown, despite poor economic forecasts and wrangling over parking spaces.
Homburg, which owns the Confederation Court Mall, plans to build a 10-storey hotel on top of the mall and a new office building on Fitzroy. The National Bank Building and the Holman Building would get new exteriors.
"It was Roosevelt who said, 'The only thing you have to fear is fear itself,'" CEO Richard Homburg said at the launch of the project Thursday.
The developer has been talking about a hotel on top of the mall for months, but arguments with the city over parking looked like they could scuttle the project. While Homburg did not link the developments directly with a $30-million loan from the province, that might have done a lot to soothe concerns about parking.
Homburg wanted parking in the Queen Street Parkade, but building on top of that parkade is not possible. It seems likely now the Pownal Street Parkade, a few blocks away, will be expanded and hotel guests will rely on valet parking.
Homburg laughed off the parking problem Thursday, saying only Islanders expected to park in front of the building they were going to.
Despite the difficult economic times, Homburg said this was the time to build.
"Postponing this development would probably mean it would never happen. It is really something not everyone would take the risk of doing, especially not in Atlantic Canada," he said.
Homburg said direct flights to Charlottetown from the United States, Boston, New York and Detroit, are creating opportunities, and the extra 81 hotel rooms will help Charlotteown attract bigger conventions.
"We choose to do this in Charlottetown because we see tremendous opportunities for the downtown. We think it will add major attraction for tourists and for people to stay more," he said.
Homburg hopes to have the new hotel built by the spring of 2010.

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