Mega-project: $120M hotel-condo-housing development planned for Amherstburg

AMHERSTBURG — Amico Construction unveiled plans Friday for a riverfront hotel, condominium and residential property development combination that, once completed, will equate to an investment of $120 million in the community.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo. “I’m overwhelmed, the impact a project like this will have on the town.”

It was the second hotel development announcement in two days for a town that currently boasts no such accommodations.

Amico’s hotel — described as a boutique-style inn — is proposed to be built on waterfront property adjacent to the former Duffy’s Tavern property which is to be re-developed by the town as park space with a festival plaza.

It will be 60 to 100 rooms in size with construction hoped to begin next summer depending on the completion of final negotiations with an unnamed operator, according to Cindy Prince, vice-president of development for Amico.

“Amico knows this is a heritage district so we are taking time with the hotel proposal to make sure it fits with (the town’s) heritage goals,” she said.

“We have to sit down with the heritage committee to see what they want the look and feel to be so that it complements the area.”

Across the street, on vacant lands owned by Amico near the intersection of Dalhousie Street and Gore Street, are plans to build two five-storey condo buildings of about 75 units each.

It is hoped by the development company that zoning bylaw changes and site planning will be completed early in the new year with construction to start next fall, Prince said.

The total investment for the hotel and condo projects is roughly $105 million.

Amico is also waiting for a final decision — expected to be handed down soon by Ontario’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal — on whether it can proceed on creation of 200 new building lots at the south end of Boblo Island.

Should that project proceed, it would equal another $15 million of investment by Amico, Prince said.

“We are pretty excited on that one,” she said. “We have been trying to get it off the ground for awhile.”

Prince indicated her company feels the time is right for a major investment in the historic part of town.

“We think Amherstburg is ready to launch, and we want to be part of that,” she said. “Given the town’s investment in the Duffy’s property we want to complement what will happen there.”

The news of Amico’s investment came one day after another significant announcement of a $10-million hotel to be constructed elsewhere in town — a Quality Inn and Suites to be built by local firm Nor-Built Construction on six acres at Simcoe Street and Meloche Road.

“(Amico’s investment) is a tremendous announcement for the town,” said Amherstburg CAO John Miceli. “It demonstrates how the decision to acquire Duffy’s was the right decision for town.

“You are talking about $105 million investment in the downtown core of Amherstburg. That’s an incredible announcement for us that will bring a lot of people into the core and make this a better place to live.”

In 2016, Amherstburg council approved the $1.7-million purchase of the almost three-acre parcel that housed the landmark Duffy’s Tavern and marina located in the downtown immediately south of the King’s Navy Yard Park.

dbattagello@postmedia.com

Amherstburg Mayor Aldo DiCarlo speaks at Friday’s news conference when he made the second announcement in two days of new hotel developments for his town.

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