Taking feedback and comments under advisement from last year’s open house, the project manager for the proposed Lorne Hotel project showed Comox council the latest design changes for the commercial/residential building Wednesday.
At the committee of the whole meeting, Shawn Vincent of Simba Investment Ltd. said he, along with owner George Kacavenda, set on a path to meet some of the concerns of the public and staff.
“The biggest things were the look of the building and the lack of a marine/heritage feel,” he explained.
Late last year, Comox residents came out in droves to view the latest architectural drawing and ask questions to Vincent and his team during a public open house for the proposed project.
Many questioned the project, particularly the design, height, vision and overall aesthetic.
Some of the reflected changes include a natural stain instead of white, larger timber posts with knee braces, blue marine posts near the pub, chain or polished stainless cable on the patio and white picket railings on the second floor.
“Planning felt it was important to highlight the corner of the building at Port Augusta and Comox Avenue,” Vincent added.
Additionally, more glass was added on the pub/bistro side, and big ship-like cleats created as seating will be set back from the patio area adding to the nautical feel, he noted.
“There will also be an artist mural about the historic Lorne (on the Port Augusta side). It will be around 20 by 10 (feet),” he said.
The proposed project will feature a pub/bistro on the main floor, and condos on the upper floors, offering a variety of sizes from 700 to penthouse-size units of 1,500 square feet.
Coun. Marg Grant asked Vincent if he’s received any interest in the residential portion of the proposed building.
“We can’t take any deposits (at this time), but we can take letters of interest, and I’ve had between 15 to 20 people I’d consider more than just tire kickers,” he replied.
Coun. Russ Arnott asked Vincent what hours the pub will undertake, and if it will operate until the evening, or remain open until midnight or later.
“We’re looking at maybe calling it the Lorne Social House. (Owners) George and Karen understand the old way of doing business certainly won’t work the same way. The hours may stay the same, but the business operations won’t.”
Richard Kanigan, the Town’s chief administrative officer said a public hearing for the project will be scheduled for May, with tentative dates either May 8 or 13.