Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com

GRAVENHURST — A $100-million hotel, apartments and retail proposal for the lands bordered around Sobey’s and Canadian Tire here is coming back to town council tomorrow.

Guelph-based SkyDev, which bought the retail lands with the LCBO, Dollarama and Wild Wing restaurant, for $30 million last January wants to build an 89-room hotel, four apartment buildings and some small retail.

They’d like to have a shovel in the ground this fall for a late 2021 opening of at least two of the apartment buildings.

President Greg Jones will be at the town hall meeting Tuesday, Feb. 25, seeking zoning approval changes for his mixed use bid, which would likely start with a couple of apartment buildings.

He told MuskokaTODAY.com that the timing and market “are right now” for the bid, which would include 232 apartment units in four four-storey buildings (two of 62 units, two of 54 units) to be built on the east side of the property, between the hardware and grocery store.

Jones estimated the cost of the apartment complex at $65 million and $40 million for the hotel and retail.

The hotel, which Jones said could be eight stories, would be across the street nearest to the Source.

He said they are already in talks with a potential operator.

According to a site plan being brought to council, there would also be 5,000 square feet of retail space located on either side of the front apartment building.

Three other apartment buildings would be located in a semi-circle behind it, next to the railroad line where a lagoon would also be located.

Three other retail locations are also identified in the drawings sent to MuskokaTODAY.com nearest to Tim Hortons on Talisman Drive.

Jones said the need and demand for this type of large-scale community in Muskoka is there, thanks in part to positive provincial housing planning policies.

With the condo sales boom peaking, he says older potential tenants are looking to rent rather than own homes in town or on the Muskoka Lakes.

Thus freeing them up from having to maintain property and in future to deal with selling a condo unit in a fluctuating sales market if they transition to retirement housing.

Jones added that with a central amenities building that would house recreation facilities and other related convenience commercial businesses the on the rest of the property, the community could be quite self inclusive.

It’s a concept that has been “tested and prove” he said.

A lot of it would eco-friendly with good use of solar power.

According to the province, municipalities can now require affordable units in new residential developments.

That could be about 20 per cent if council decides with public input.

The new development could also free up housing for sale as some residents move from houses into apartment living.

The proposal also comes as a new housing development off the Beach Road in Gravenhurst is also gaining some positive sales traction with a number of foundations already being dug.

Tomorrow’s town hall meeting is at 5 p.m. and is open to the public.

The proposal would include four apartment buildings – two of 62 units and two of 54 units with recreational amenities between Canadian Tire and Sobey’s.
A site plan proposal shows four apartment buildings and a future hotel, along with five more retail pods for the south Gravenhurst property proposal by Ontario developers SkyDev of Guelph..
The proposal would include four apartment buildings – two of 62 units and two of 54 units with recreational amenities.

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