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Newmarket councillors consider additional lighting, parking issues for clock tower hotel

Town gives project in-principal approval for site plan
March 1, 2022
Joseph Quigley

Newmarket councillors are considering some downtown decorative additions as the Main Street clock tower hotel project goes ahead.

The town’s site plan committee gave in-principle approval for the future boutique hotel by Streetcar Developments at the corner of Main Street and Park Avenue. Representatives from Streetcar unveiled the site plans for the 55-suite hotel, which will also feature 37 parking spaces, which is expected to open in 2023.

But with the project having to rely on valet parking to use other downtown lots, committee member and Councillor Bob Kwapis questioned adding new decorations or lighting in the corridor between the hotel and the community parking lots off Doug Duncan Drive.

“Now that we’re going to have more tourists coming through, that will probably be a very busy area,” Kwapis said.

The site plan showed the layout of the future site, which seeks to have a rooftop restaurant, a ground floor cafe space and a physical addition. The committee resolution asked staff to continue technical review of the application to ensure conformity with planning policies.

Mayor John Taylor said more decorative lighting in the corridor by the hotel is something for the council to consider as a budget matter, but agreed it is an issue to examine.

“It’s probably in need of a little bit of love, some lighting and some things, it’s going to be used considerably more,” Taylor said.

Parking was a point of focus in discussions. Streetcar is planning for 37 total spaces, 12 provided by the municipality at the Old Town Hall lot. Any needed parking beyond that will be handled by a valet service Streetcar plans to operate.

Kwapis said it would be something to monitor.

“I do expect a little more traffic,” Kwapis said. “We need to keep an eye on the traffic movement and the pedestrian movement.”

The town has indicated it would progress plans to move the downtown tennis courts elsewhere to open up more parking in the area.

“It’s important our staff are working with Streetcar through this process and understanding how to make the valet (run) smoothly and seamlessly, with as little impact as possible,” Taylor said, adding he does not believe it will have a noticeable impact most of the time outside of events.

Work on the interior of the building is already underway. Streetcar vice-president of architecture Jeff Schnitter said they will preserve many of the room layouts within the building, though they are shrinking hallways to add to the room space.

“The way it was functionally laid out worked quite well,” Schnitter said. “With the consideration of the heritage windows, where the walls are made a lot of sense.”

Taylor said he looks forward to the energy the building will bring to the downtown once completed.

“This is an incredible addition to our downtown."