The Marriott Project – A work ‘Inn’ progress
L-r Developer Rod McLeod, Architect Claudio Rabaglino and General Contractor Richard Allen -photos 250News
Prince George, B.C. – When you ask Developer Rod McLeod how construction on the new Marriott Courtyard Hotel is going, the answer is simple “On time and on budget”The $35 million dollar Marriott Courtyard project is buzzing with activity. The project is half way through framing, structural steel will arrive later this week for the front part of the building, windows are expected to arrive next week . “Right now our primary focus is getting all the wood framing up and the exterior windows on” says General Contractor Richard Allen “Then we can start with the roofing, and mechanical rough in.”.
Marriott International’s Vice President of Lodging Development, Ryan Mcrae says the company is “very impressed by pace of construction of the Courtyard by Marriott Prince George, BC to-date.”
The weather has been a challenge. Although the project benefited from a milder than normal fall, the recent cold snap had an impact says Allen ” When there’s snow and ice, and cold temperatures, the productivity goes down a bit, but that is expected.”
The project truly is international in scope as the developers are from Prince George and Utah , the architect (Claudio Rabaglino) is based in Toronto, the General Contractor is from Alberta. The team has been meeting regularly through “Go To Meetings” on the internet for nearly a year.
As most in Prince George already know, the project was originally to be a Delta Hotel. Then Marriott bought out Delta, and while still favouring the project, the plan had to be redesigned to fit a Marriott plan on the already existing foundation. Architect Claudio Rabaglino had produced the initial plan, then revised it to meet Marriott’s requirements, and would do the work one more time when it was decided the design would be the more modern “Generation 6” Marriott Plan. “The Gen 5 was an older design, it had a curved front” says Rabaglino “Now with this Gen 6, it’s got a different kind of panel, and stucco on the exterior” and there were some minor changes to the floor plan and location of elevators.
The hotel will be the first “Generation 6 Courtyard to open in Canada” says Marriott’s Mcrae who praises McLeod and PEG Developments for making the changes that would make this an identifiable Courtyard by Marriott design “No easy undertaking given much of the hotel’s footprint was already in-place.”
“People may think there wasn’t anything going on, that the project was idle” says developer Rod McLeod, “But there was so much going on behind the scenes. Securing financing, designing and re-designing, it all took time.”
Critics of the project often raised concerns about the concrete foundation and the rebar that had been left exposed to the elements, but Richard Allen says it’s all good “The structural engineer did a review on that, there were no issues with the foundation. Fortunately it was built according to the drawings and test reports all came back at what they needed to be.”
The project has been good news for local sub trades as the General Contractor has tried, wherever possible, to put local firms to work on this project. The roofer is local, the storefront windows, metal framing doors, excavation and concrete finishing have all involved local firms and sub trades. “For the most part, we’ve been able to use as many local sub trades who could contribute as possible” says McLeod.
While there may have been a hiccup or two, as designs and partners were formalized, Allen says the construction portion is going smoothly “Having dealt with multitudes of projects over the years, this job is going really well.”
At peak of construction, there will be well over 50 people on the job and when complete, the hotel will employ around 40 full and part time employees.
And the completion date is not far off. The projected completion is late fall of 2017, and McLeod , who also owns Royal LePage Real Estate in Prince George, is confident it will be ready on time “I’ve already booked the Royal LePage 2017 Christmas party at this hotel.”