U of S signs agreement for hotel development in College Quarter

Construction is expected to begin in the middle of 2014 on a 203-room hotel project in the University of Saskatchewan’s College Quarter.

University officials have signed an agreement for a long-term land lease with Saskatoon-based P.R. Hotels Ltd. for a dual-brand hotel development just east of the Stadium Parkade on College Drive. The complex will combine a Holiday Inn Express and a Staybridge Suites in one building to offer accommodation to user groups associated with the university—visiting lecturers and scientists, meeting attendees, parents, athletes—as well as to the general public. Other potential users include federal facilities located on campus, Innovation Place tenants and Royal University Hospital.

"This is very exciting," said Judy Yungwirth, director of corporate administration. "This allows the university to realize the first part of its vision for services in College Quarter and that's made this project a lot of fun to work on."

The 10-storey dual-wing building will occupy the northeast quadrant of College Quarter. The Holiday Inn Express wing will feature mid- to upper-scale rooms while the Staybridge Suites wing will offer lodging with kitchen facilities in each suite for long-stay guests although the suites can be rented by the night.

Under the terms of the agreement, P.R. Hotels Ltd. will take responsibility for all of the capital and operating costs of the project in return for the lease on the land. Yungwirth stressed no university resources will be used in the development "but we will benefit financially through the lease agreement and by filling the need for accommodation of this type on our campus."

She declined to discuss the details of the land lease agreement citing confidentiality around business contracts.

The funds from the lease agreement will be reinvested in the next phase of the College Quarter northeast precinct, which includes plans for a new rink. "Those funds allow the university to leverage the value of its lands and improve the infrastructure that supports our students' experience on campus," said Yungwirth.

Owned by Lawrence and Patricia Rychjohn, P.R. Hotels Limited owns and operates six other hotels including the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites and the Holiday Inn Hotel in Saskatoon as well as other hotel properties in Kelowna and Arizona.

While there will be no restaurant in the hotel, its amenities will include breakfast facilities for each brand along with free internet, a swimming pool and waterslide, and fitness and business centres. Four meeting rooms, some on the top floor with panoramic views of campus and the city, will be available for rent by guests, members of the campus community and the public.

Yungwirth said P.R. Hotels Ltd. was chosen from a number of firms that submitted proposals to build a hotel based on the financial terms, and "the company's good understanding of what the university was looking for and who will be staying there. They also really understood our vision for College Quarter, and the fact we consider the hotel key to setting the tone for developing the northeast precinct of College Quarter because it will attract both campus and community users, one of our goals for College Quarter."

Completion of the hotel is expected by the spring of 2016.

Share this story