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Proposed trio of towers includes two new hotels

The proposed $100-million Ampri International Gateway Centre, as seen from Bridgeport Road. - artist rendering from IBI Group
The proposed $100-million Ampri International Gateway Centre, as seen from Bridgeport Road.
— image credit: artist rendering from IBI Group

A plan to build two hotels and a 12-storey office tower near the Oak Street Bridge is being pitched at Richmond City Hall.

A public report presented to a council committee Tuesday details an Ampar Ventures Ltd. proposal to build one nine-storey hotel, another 11-storey hotel and a business centre boasting 128,628 square feet of office space.

All three towers would be built on the same eight-lot site, sandwiched between Bridgeport Road, Beckwith Road, the Highway 99 viaduct to the Oak Street Bridge and Airport Gateway Plaza—a small strip mall anchored by Michael's and Tim Hortons.

"This proposed development represents a significant addition to the inventory of office space within the City Centre," said senior planner Brian Guzzi, in his report.

Guzzi, who is recommending approval, also noted the development "will serve as an important catalyst to encourage light-industrial development in the Bridgeport Village as well as continue to improve the visual interest and variety of architectural design in the surrounding area."

Current zoning of the lots allow for single-family homes and school and institutional uses.

Ampar Ventures Ltd., whose directors are Amitpal Sandhu and Paramjit Sandhu, is seeking four exceptions to city rules—but has the support of staff.

If built as proposed, the office tower would stand 47 metres tall, exceeding allowable height in the area by 12 metres (39 feet). But staff note the City Centre Area Plan allows for "flexibility."

The plan states: "Increased height may be permitted where it enhances public views to a designated 'gateway' or provides some other public benefit..."

The proposal also exceeds allowable density. But staff argue the plan is acceptable, in part "because the proposed hotels will support nearby industrial uses."

Staff also recommend exceptions allowing the hotels to extend beyond permitted boundaries of Bridgeport Road and to have non-industrial uses exceed industrial uses.

The project still requires council approval and will be subject of a public hearing.

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