The owner of a soon-to-be-shuttered downtown hotel is planning to pour millions of dollars into renovating the building but isn’t willing to commit to re-opening the space as a lodging facility.
© Google street view.
The National Hotel & Suites is located at 361 Queen St.
Bernie Myers, the vice-president of Morguard for the region, declined to specify exactly how much the company planned to spend but said it would be somewhere between $10 million and $20 million.
However, the building won’t necessarily re-open as a hotel. Morguard is leaning towards continuing to use the space for that purpose but is evaluating what other purposes it could serve, said Mr. Myers.
“We’re looking at all options, all scenarios at this stage,” he said. “Clearly the building certainly was built and has served well as a hotel.”
But, he added, “we would not be doing the right thing to our investors who own the building to (not) say, ‘Well, wait a second, what now is the highest and best use and if we are going to make a large capital investment in the project – which we are going to do – how should we do that for optimum results?’”
The hotel, located at 361 Queen St., dropped its Delta branding last year and has since been operating independently.
Mr. Myers said the company does not have any leads on a new affiliation for the building should it be re-opened as a hotel.
He declined to go into detail about the exact changes the company would be able to make for the money it is planning to invest.
All he would say was that “you get a lot more than carpet and drapes for $10- to $20 million” and that the facility will have the “latest and greatest” in amenities when it re-opens.
He said the company decided to close the hotel because it was built in the mid-’70s. He felt the substantial renovation it needed could not be completed while the hotel continued to operate.
Morguard plans to have the renovations completed in nine to 12 months, he said. He anticipated the building will re-open sometime in 2015.
The National is the ninth-largest hotel in Ottawa by number of guest rooms, according to OBJ research. It has 328 rooms and employs about 250 people.