With City Council removing a covenant on the property that was once known as the Neptune Inn, removing it as a location for a proposed Seniors housing development and returning it to its former status in zoning for hotel and restaurant use.
The move, made Monday night came following a report from City Planner Zeno Krekic who outlined how the property, is no longer to make use of a plan to turn it into Seniors housing.
With the owner, Macro properties citing increased costs, other seniors housing coming on market and transportation challenges all making for their decision to sell the property.
The potential new owner James Warbuton is requesting a return to the original zoning to allow for a return for the building for accommodation purposes.
On Monday, the City Planner recounted some of the history of the property and the hospitality industry in the community.He noted how Council's past study into shadow populations indicated a growing level of travellers to the community who require a place to stay for two to three weeks, noting how the revised proposal would fit into the needs of that shadow population.
He also called attention to an existing number of suites that the proponent operates on First Avenue West in the city. To close his report, he observed that at this time, returning the property to its original zoning and used would be the best option for the city.
|Same as it ever was ... the Neptune Inn will return to its|
previous zoning as that of hotel and restaurant accommodation.
After City Council reviewed a report from the City Planner.
When it came time for discussion, Council was on board with the plan to revert to the previous zoning with Councillor Niesh offering his full support for the proposal, making note that if it were a new development perspective it would not be fitting for the area, however as it's an existing building with an existing use as that which has been proposed, he would rather see it being used rather than sitting empty.
Mr Niesh did offer caution for any new owners, noting that they are locating in a light industrial area and should be aware of the noise pollution that they may find there.
Councillor Cunningham noted that he was behind the proposal to 100 percent and how its taking an old building that is an eyesore and how Mr. Warburton's reputation is impeccable and how this development offers the city similar results as were found with his First Avenue building.
As for the Seniors housing issues of the past, the Councillor noted that with the Anchor Inn now open and the new Seniors Facility by Metlakatla to be opened soon, those issues seem to be in hand.
Councillor Randhawa also offered his support for the application.
There was no indication as to the timeline for the potential sale, or when any work on the Neptune building would be considered.
You can review Mr. Krekic's Report to Council here.
His presentation to Council and the commentary from the Council members is available from the City's Video Archive starting at the one hour, twenty three minute mark.
A look back at the recent history of the building with Prince Rupert City Council can be found below:
August 7 -- Mayor Brain, Councillor Mirau offer housing response in wake of recent permissive tax exemption decision
June 20 -- Council moves two Seniors housing proposals further ahead
June 6 -- Hill Top Lodge for Seniors to go to Public Hearing on Monday
May 12 -- Most on City Council show enthusiasm for renovation plans for old Neptune Inn
March 27 -- April date set for Public Information session on Neptune Inn conversion proposal
January 11 -- Council moves forward with Neptune Inn plan for Seniors housing
January 6 -- Details on proposed Seniors Housing project for Neptune site to bd reviewed by Council
June 12 -- Former residents of Neptune Inn find housing for now
May 27 -- Councillor Thorkelson expresses frustration over ongoing issues of homelessness in Prince Rupert
For more items of note on housing around the North Coast see our archive page here.
Further notes related to Monday's City Council session can be found here, while a review of Discussion topics at Prince Rupert Council can be found here.
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