UPDATE: Delta buys Ottawa Crowne Plaza; plans $25M in renovations

Peter Kovessy
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One of Ottawa’s largest hotels has a new owner.

Delta Hotels announced Friday it’s purchasing the 411-room Crowne Plaza at the corner of Albert and Lyon streets.

The property is located a block east of Delta’s existing 329-room hotel at Bay and Queen streets.

Hank Stackhouse, president and CEO of Delta Hotels and Resorts, said the acquisition will allow his company to market to groups of 500 to 700 guests.

“When the larger groups come in, we have an opportunity to host them at both hotels and offer them a mixed range of products,” he said in an interview, highlighting the value of the Crowne Plaza’s 26,000 square feet of meeting space.

Mr. Stackhouse said Ottawa’s stability has garnered solid returns for Delta in recent years.

“I’d suggest it’s been one of the strongest markets in the country,” he said.

While many hotel properties are independently owned and operated, the Crowne Plaza will be corporately owned under the company’s growing asset management division, according to a company spokesperson.

The Crowne Plaza was built in 1969 and renovated in 1999, according to data from real estate research firm Altus Group, and will be rebranded as the Delta Ottawa City Centre in January.

The new owner is planning $25 million in renovations to the hotel, including the removal of the steep front entrance ramp.

Guests will soon enter at ground level, where the hotel’s meeting and conventions space is located, and take either the elevator or a new escalator up to the lobby.

Renovations are slated to start in June and wrap up by March 2012, with the hotel remaining open while work is underway.

Mr. Stackhouse said work will be tendered using some form of request-for-proposals, but local contractors will be selected based on “finding the right partner.”

There are 376 hotels in the Crowne Plaza chain, part of the InterContinental Hotels Group. The global hospitality giant also owns the Holiday Inn and Hotel Indigo brands.

Delta has 45 hotels and resorts across Canada. The company recently announced plans for a new downtown Toronto hotel and opened a new location in Sault Ste. Marie earlier this year.

Mr. Stackhouse declined to discuss the purchase price or how the company was financing the acquisition.

Just over four years ago, the Radisson Hotel on Queen Street sold for $12.5 million, or $71,000 per unit, according to local real estate appraisal and advisory firm Juteau Johnson Comba Inc.

As part of the same portfolio sale, Arc The Hotel on Slater Street sold for almost $10.4 million, or $92,500 per unit.

Canadian hotel investment levels were down 61 per cent year-over-year in 2009, according to a Colliers International Hotels report.

Transaction volume totalled $414 million, with an average price per room of $65,500.

Ottawa was one of the strongest performing markets in the country last year, increasing 3.6 per cent on Colliers’ hotel value index. Ratings are influenced by investor yield expectations, market performance, changes to supply and the overall economic health of the market.

Across the Delta chain, Mr. Stackhouse said he’s starting to see signs of recovery and growth.

“Everyone has been affected by the downturn … (but) the trends are going in the right direction.”

According to the 2010 Book of Lists the Crowne Plaza is Ottawa’s fifth-largest hotel by number of guest rooms, behind the Westin (495), Marriott (480), Chateau Laurier (429) and Minto Suites (417).

Organizations: Delta Hotels, Altus Group, InterContinental Hotels Group Holiday Inn

Geographic location: Albert, Ottawa

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Recent comments

    December 20, 2010 - 14:13

    Congratulations on the acquisition of this great property. The idea to market these two propertries as one is not new, back in the 1970 in the absence of a Convention Center and the Westin Hotel, the then Skyline Hotel (Crowne Plaza) and Inn of the Provinces (Delta) were marketed to large conventions and group as one facility.

  • Peter Quinlan
    December 20, 2010 - 13:57

    With the recent closure of "Merlot" (revolving restaurant across the street in The Marriott), perhaps DELTA might place a F & B outlet in the Penthouse of the Crowne Plaza (a la "STOP 26" in The Skyline days)...just a thought...