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Sep 16,2007 - Tri City News

By Sarah Payne The Tri-City News

Ioco Road could be widened by next summer as Onni pushes ahead with construction of its Suter Brook hotel.

Work is well underway at the sprawling site, which will include a mix of high-rise towers, mid-rise developments, commercial and retail space and the much-anticipated hotel.

Slated for completion in 2009, the boutique hotel will offer 140 rooms, oversized suites and 11 meeting rooms, and will feature wireless internet access and energy-efficient technologies.

The banquet facilities — 13,000 square feet that can sit up to 400 people — will be the same size as Coquitlam’s Executive Inn, meaning Port Moody could host regional and provincial events. Colleen Rohde, director of corporate services, suggested the hotel could accommodate the Wearable Art awards, which this year had to be split into two events, and as a PoMo venue for Taste of the Tri-Cities and the Tri-City Mayors Barbecue, which Port Moody hasn’t been able to host.

Conferences and meetings would attract hotel-room bookings and visits to Port Moody restaurants and shops, Rohde added.

On Tuesday, Onni’s development authorization permit was approved for the hotel parcel along with an amendment to its land use contract after it was discovered that construction, already underway, was about 1.5 metres off the original plans. Minimum setback requirements from property lines are 2.5 metres but a staff report stated the shift won’t affect city-owned road allowances.

Further construction of the hotel is closely tied to Ioco Road widening, which is expected to begin within a month and take about six to eight months in favourable weather conditions. Night-time construction to minimize traffic delays may be considered, but an Onni representative noted that would likely extend the road construction timeline.

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