New Hotel On The Block For Charlottetown-Lets Hope So !

Recently developer Tim Banks of APM unveiled plans for a new hotel, plaza, courtyard and other tenants on the former Kays Building in Downtown Charlottetown. See the proposed building here.

Upon reading what APM wants to do with this location, it looks great in my opinion. I may be a little biased as well as Lemuel Cambridge Owen who was married to Lois Welsh was my Great Great Grandfather. He was a merchant, shipbuilder, Postmaster General and PEI's second Premier after Confederation.

I don't see the resemblance,but maybe if I grew one of those beards.

I am all for preserving heritage but I am also very pro development in our downtown core. I am proud to be from Charlottetown and constantly sing its praises to many of my colleagues across the country and many have expressed desire to come here if they haven't already been here.

If this goes ahead it will be the second hotel to move forward on a revitalization project that uses the combination of heritage and present style and construction techniques...some may argue that they are not aesthically pleasing but hey, just like my great great grand pappy is in the eye of the beholder and what looked good at one time may not look so good later.

Has their been mistakes made in the past with development in the city ?...of course and their will be mistakes made in the future but only the future generations will really know but at the time they may have been the right decisions and sometimes decisions just have to be made.

Some of our older prominent buildings served a great purpose at their time of construction but those purposes no longer serve the present generations. The Kays building was used for many years as a wholesaler and those businesses are better suited to be out in a larger area to allow for easier shipping and quicker turnaround with less need for high inventory levels. This speaks the same with former buildings that are no longer used in Charlottetown- Eatons Building, which was demolished and a new parking garage was constructed, Dominion Building which was built in the 50's and was the post office and housed various government agencies is now for sale as the federal government tenants moved to the new energy efficient and sustainable Jean Canfield Building.

There are many other examples of this in Charlottetown as well as many other cities but with the rich heritage of Charlottetown being the birthplace of Confederation we need to continue to grow our city on our outskirts while still preserving and enhancing our downtown.

It is great to see the determination and vision of developers in our downtown such as APM, Homburg, Tweel, O'Halloran-Nadeau and many others. The work of the Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Charlottetown Inc also deserves credit for encouraging more businesses and development in the downtown core.

I wish them good luck in their developments and also that the City Council and Planning Department use their judgment when reviewing proposals on what is best for the city. It is okay to ask questions, ask for certain stipulations but to remember for developments to work in the private sector they have to be economically viable for the developers. I believe the City Council has done well in the past and trust them to continue in this way.

Although some may disagree with me, that is fine as with good debate comes good decisions.

These opinions are those of myself and may not be the same as those in our company

Joel Ives

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