When fire swept through the ABC Restaurant at the Accent Inn on Maple Street in Saanich last year, the owners of the hotel vowed to rebuild.
Now those rebuild plans are set to go to public hearing next week, with a proposal to build something bigger and better than before.
“Because of zoning, I could’ve just rebuilt exactly what was there and would probably have a restaurant up and running now,” said Mandy Farmer, CEO of Accent Inns. “But here was an opportunity to build something awesome, so we decided to go through the whole development permit process to really make our Victoria Accent Inn the flagship for the whole chain.”
Proposed is a new restaurant, which would be slightly smaller than the one destroyed by fire, as well as a spa and offices to relocate corporate offices from Victoria to Saanich.
“Our head office has never been at a hotel, so we’re all pretty jazzed about being close to the action and being in a brand new building in Saanich,” Farmer said.
She says she has already secured a tenant for the restaurant: Bin 4 Burger Lounge.
“They’re a father-daughter business, just like we are, and as soon as I met with them I felt it would be a great partnership,” she said.
Saanich police believe the April 12, 2013 was deliberately set, and it remains an active investigation. Four other suspicious fires were set the same night in Saanich, all of which were extinguished before any major damage was done.
If the public hearing at Saanich council on June 11 goes the way Farmer hopes, she would like to have construction crews on site by September.
The public hearing happens Tuesday, June 10 at 7:30 p.m. at 770 Vernon Ave.