Essex council approves boutique motel, new housing development
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
The Windsor Star/Dave Waddell
Essex town council approved selling a piece of property in Colchester Monday to the owners of Kingsville’s Grove Hotel for a proposed $3.4-million boutique motel in Colchester.
The two-storey, 25-room retro-style motel will be located at 96 County Road 50 West near the intersection with Dunn Road.
“This aligns with the Colchester Improvement plan,” said James Flynn, who along with Kim Lewis own and operate the Grove Hotel.
“This is the perfect site for our development.
“It’ll be bright. It’ll be colourful. It’ll be all things Grove.”
Flynn said the motel, which had a distinct 1960s-look in the presentation pictures, would be operated by the Grove Hotel.
“It’ll inject $1.5-million annually into the Colchester economy,” Flynn said.
“We have the size and scale to benefit other area businesses and attract investment.”
It’s the second attempt by Lewis and Flynn to build a development in Colchester this year.
The pair had proposed a $2-million plan for 14 individual cottages centered around the old Colchester schoolhouse site at 195 Bagot Street.
However, Flynn and Lewis let that deal die when local residents objected and began to work on Plan B with council.
Colchester residents are now exploring a community use for the 140-year old school. Heritage Colchester spokesperson Perry Barsden gave Essex town council an update on the group’s plans for the schoolhouse Monday.
Flynn said the development would also be one of the locations for the recently established Grove bike company and would be home to an onsite food truck.
The target market for the hotel will be bird watchers, visitors to local wineries and weddings.
“The opportunity to relook at what we were trying to bring to Colchester … we listened to the concerns raised and we’ve come back larger and better to submit this development,” Flynn said.
“We’re trying to weave ourselves into the community. This development shows we were able to address all the concerns raised.”
Flynn and Lewis hope to close the deal to purchase the property by June 30.
Before then, flooding and environmental assessments must be met; the public consulted and town council approve a final site plan.
Judging by the gushing reaction to the project by the entire Essex council, the development has overwhelming support.
“I believe the wine industry will flourish because of this,” said deputy mayor Richard Meloche.
“The problem with our tourism is people stay in Windsor, come visit the wineries and then head back to Windsor. This gives us the opportunity to have people stay here for period of time.”
The motel was one of just two real estate deals to gain council’s support Monday.
Council also gave final approval for a 72-dwelling subdivision to be constructed in Harrow near the intersection of County Road 13 and Pollard Drive.
The Parkland Woodlands development is the largest residential development in the town in recent memory.
“Harrow and Colchester residents having been chomping at the bit for more housing,” said Essex councillor Sherry Bondy, who represents Ward 4.
“It’s exciting to see the project come to fruition.
“A lot of this has to do with no development fees until the end of 2021.”
The waiving of development fees saves the builder, Noah Homes, about $370,000 in charges.
Bondy said the demand for new housing is strong in the town. The Pollard Subdivision, located on the former Harrow Junior School site, has already sold out the 37 semi-detached homes scheduled for completion this summer.
“This subdivision is an indication Harrow’s future is headed in the right direction,” Bondy said.
A multi-used community trail in the subdivision will link into the community’s active transportation plan. Noah Homes will also build a parking lot and access road to offer access to the ball diamonds and woodlands adjacent to the development.
The developer will also build a storm water management pond to ensure the new development doesn’t create flooding issues for established neighbourhoods.
Construction of the subdivision is expected to begin immediately.