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Homestead Inn redevelopment back on table in Banff

A new proposal is on the table for a 71-unit hotel on Banff’s Lynx Street at the same location that was successfully appealed against in June 2015.

A new proposal is on the table for a 71-unit hotel on Banff’s Lynx Street at the same location that was successfully appealed against in June 2015.

Fuji Starlight Express submitted a proposal to demolish the Homestead Inn to make way for a new hotel and residential accommodation.

The proposal for the three-storey hotel would include two residential units – one and two bedroom apartments – a large lobby, a 75-80 stall underground parking garage and surface parking at the front of the hotel to replace the existing three-storey, 27-room hotel built in the mid-1970s.

“We have submitted a development permit and are hoping to go before the MPC (Banff’s Municipal Planning Commission) in December 2016,” said Frank Denouden, general manager at Banff Park Lodge.

Fuji Starlight Express owns Banff Park Lodge, among other properties, and in its proposal the Lodge would be the administrative office for the new development.

Denouden added the proposed building’s designs will be under the Town’s building roof height variance.

Fuji also recently purchased popular Banff restaurant Melissa’s Missteak and took possession on Tuesday (Nov. 1).

Melissa’s, also on Lynx Street, is south of Homestead Inn and adjacent to Banff Park Lodge.

Denouden said Melissa’s would not be part of the redevelopment that would occur next to it.

Instead, plans would be to have a five-metre walking path separating Melissa’s building and the proposed hotel’s building, according to the designs.

The new design is to “encourage” people to walk and bicycle and developers say it will offer an improvement to the public realm.

The hope is by adding the walkway it will also help to ease pedestrian congestion from Banff Avenue and the Bison Court area at peak times to more fluidly direct people to the Bow River, said Denouden, which is a block away from the lodge.

The sidewalk at the corner of Lynx and Caribou streets will also be fixed as part of Fuji’s efforts.

The Town of Banff has received the redevelopment application and it’s in the preliminary stages of review at the staff level, wrote Diana Waltmann, Banff’s manager of communications, in an email.

Should this proposal be subject to approval, construction could begin as soon as October of 2017.

In June 2015, the Banff development appeal board overturned the MPC’s decision to give Fuji Starlight Express a development permit to tear down Homestead and redevelop it into a 63-room hotel.

The DAB reported there were numerous deficiencies in the proposed development, including concerns about variances granted to building height, and rear and side yard setbacks.

Rocky Mountain Outlook

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