The Hamilton Spectator Pubdate:April 06, 2005 Page:A16 Section:Business

New 139-room hotel set for Upper James

Hamilton's newest hotel will break ground April 20. It will be a 139-room, $17-million complex on vacant land on Upper James Street, south of the Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway. It will feature 15 suites, a restaurant, pool and meeting facilities under the Courtyard by Marriott banner, said hotelier Oscar Kichi. "We've been waiting for a long time. It's a busy area and a great location," he said yesterday. Building permits are in place and construction will take about a year, Kichi said. There is growing interest in the tourism and business travel potential on Upper James. Another 111-room hotel south of Stone Church Road on Upper James got zoning approval last fall. Kichi's latest venture had been delayed by an Ontario Municipal Board appeal by a neighbour and a number of changes to the design and size of the building over the last year. Kichi, owner of Sahar's Hospitality, is deeply ingrained in Hamilton's hotel industry. The new hotel will operate across the street from his Days Inn. He also owns the Ramada Plaza Hotel downtown and is one of five developers bringing back the Royal Connaught.