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Old Posted Nov 1, 2017, 10:56 AM
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SignalHillHiker SignalHillHiker is online now
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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The green building:

Now looks like this, and has for a while:

But now we know what it's going to be:

A recognized heritage building in downtown is getting a new lease on life thanks to a St. John’s businessman who prides himself redeveloping undervalued commercial properties.

Vic Lawlor has purchased the former Newfoundland Clothing Factory building at 275 Duckworth St. with plans to turn the 106-year-old building into a 40-room boutique hotel.

“As soon as I walked into it, the view you’ve got of the harbour, it’s just made for a hotel,” Lawlor says of the 28,000-square-foot, six-floor building [Downtown's on a hill, the downhill side of the building is six floors].

“I think I’m going to call it the Factory Hotel, incorporating the original history of the building.”

Lawlor, who hopes to have 20 rooms ready for next summer, also plans to include a small restaurant, a local art gallery and hopefully a rooftop patio. Half the rooms, he says, will be one-bedroom suites with full kitchens complete with granite countertops.

He purchased the building for $3.5 million and expects the final bill will come in around the $5 million mark once the interior renovations are completed.

If this seems low, that’s because the previous owners have done the heavy lifting in terms of bringing the building, which has been vacant since 2010, up to snuff.

“The place has been gutted, so it’s basically only to frame some walls. The new HVAC system’s already on it, new elevator in it, the main lobby is done.”

The previous owners, a group known as ZRCH Duckworth Street Inc., contracted Woodford Sheppard Architecture Ltd. to design and oversee extensive renovations and restoration about five years ago, being sure to maintain as many of the classic revival architectural styles as possible while bringing the building up to code.

Inside, they created a new accessible lobby, installed a new elevator, and restored the original staircase, woodwork and railings. Outside, the building got a paint job, the oak front door and exterior mouldings were restored, and masonry was parged and painted.

The Factory will be the latest new hotel to open in the downtown in recent years, following Jag, Luxus, Franklin and the newly opened Alt Hotel.

But Lawlor isn’t concerned that the area is getting too crowded for his hotel to survive.

“I have no doubt, based on the numbers I’ve crunched, (that) I should be able to make a go of it.

“It’s going to be a beautiful hotel, and I’d compare it to any hotel down there once it gets done. There’ll be a nice feel to it, you’re right in the heart of downtown, you’re right by Solomon’s lane, so you can walk out and go on Water street or Duckworth.”
Note to self: "The plural of anecdote is not evidence."
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