|An artist's rendition of Manteo Resort's $100-million expansion plan.|
The Rykon Group's $100-million plan to turn Manteo Resort into "the finest waterfront resort on the lake" has received unanimous approval from city councillors.
The major redevelopment of the Lakeshore Road resort will involve construction of 18 townhouses to replace the Lakeshore Inn in the first phase and then 10- and 12-storey towers in subsequent phases.
The approval Tuesday of the two towers, which exceed the six-storey limit in the official community plan, could open the door wider for Westcorp's $150-million plan to build more than 900 hotel rooms and homes across the street.
Westcorp's concept plan shows 19 buildings ranging from 3.5 to 11 storeys, also exceeding the six-, four- and 2.5-storey limits for each housing type in the OCP. It goes to a public hearing on March 26.
"We've worked and reworked this proposal to ensure we're not only making sound business decisions but, most importantly, responsible ones," said Adrian Block, president and founder of The Rykon Group, the developer of Manteo Resort.
"We have an amazing piece of real estate and take our stewardship of the land seriously and applaud city council for their collaboration to ensure a win-win for everyone."
The existing 44-unit Lakeshore Inn will operate this summer while pre-sales start in June for the 18 townhouses - in phases of 11 and seven units. Specific details on the first phase will be announced late April.
"We need to get a certain number of pre-sales to proceed, and assuming we get that, we'll begin with the demolition in September. It could be as early as July 2014 for delivery," said Block.
After the 1996 timeshare program expires in 2019, "everything on the south side of Manteo is demolished in order to make Phase 2 and 3
happen," said Block.
The 12-storey 69-unit hotel and 10-storey 77-unit apartment/hotel would be a combination of luxury hotel rooms and vacation condos.
"A good portion of it will not be for sale because we'll maintain that as part of our inventory for nightly rentals. And then a portion of it will be sold and those will have private owners and they use it as they wish," said Block.
Manteo sold its request for the increase in building height by promising to dedicate a 12-metre strip of lakeshore, which would complete a public walkway from Rotary Beach to the mouth of Mission Creek.
"It's a great compromise for both us and the city. The general public are getting a great benefit with the land, the lakefront path that is part of this transaction. Though we don't gain anything in terms of density, what we gain is a building form that makes the resort effective," said Block.
"Open space at the lake edge is important for a resort experience. That, I think, is quite clear in what people are looking for in an Okanagan resort. And that's what this plan creates. That was only possible by going to a mid-rise building configuration."
Not only that, but the two towers will both provide panoramic views of Okanagan Lake, the lakeshore and the Mission area. Both will be located in the centre of the property to avoid putting neighbours in shadow.
The redevelopment would also have additional 775 square metres of commercial space for tourist shops and a 363-square-metre expansion to convention facilities.
The dedication and restoration of a 10-metre-wide riparian strip along the lake and completion of a two-metre-wide public walkway from Rotary Beach to the mouth of Mission Creek and along Wilson Creek could start as early as 2014.
The plans include an expanded pool and open spaces on the waterfront as well as providing
29 more parking spaces than required, a total of 313, to solve current parking challenges.
The Lakeshore Inn, located between the existing Manteo facilities and Rotary Beach, last had a major facade upgrade in 1999.