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Marty_Mcfly Feb 18, 2019 2:11 PM

JAG Hotel Expansion [9 floors (36m) & 6 floor (17m) Concert Hall] - Buchanan Street
JAG Hotel Expansion

Stage: Proposal

Hotel: 9 storeys (36m)
Concert Venue: 6 storeys (17m)
Land Use Assessment Report:


Large concert hall part of Jag Hotel's 'calculated risk' for expansion

Keith Richards's portrait stands behind the Exile Lounge in the Jag Hotel in downtown St. John's. To his right, up higher on the wall, a classically-hatted Tom Petty strums a guitar.

"Jag will always celebrate music as long as I'm in control of it," said John Steele.

He owns the hotel in downtown St. John's, as well as the collection of paintings and posters of rock icons that line Jag's walls.

Steele, whose family sold Newfoundland Capital Corporation — the parent company of Steele Communications — in October for $524 million, runs Steele Hotels, which operates six hotel across the province: one in Corner Brook, three in Gander and two in St. John's.

Now, he wants to replicate his 84-room Jag Hotel at a new spot in Halifax.

"We want to be based here, headquartered here in St. John's, but it's time to try to do in the hotel business what we did in the radio business, by expanding outside of the province," he said.

But it's not just a new hotel in the works: Steele is also planning a large expansion in downtown St. John's, which will include a new 80-room hotel space, a pedway, and a concert hall.

At a time when some are concerned about the future of downtown St. John's, and Newfoundland and Labrador's fiscal situation is less than rosy, Steele said he's in a position where he can look to the future.

"All things pass — good times, bad times. And I'm fortunate that I'm in the situation that I'm able to move forward to get ready for when the good times roll around again," Steele told CBC's St. John's Morning Show.

"There is no doubt that there are challenges in the economy and we have to address some serious systemic issues we have in our economy, and there's no easy fixes."

teele said there are plenty of changes he imagines could make the province flourish again, but in the meantime, he's moving forward with his own vision.

"I think there could be better opportunity if we made some changes, but I'm ready to go and I'm ready to take the risk," he said. "I think it's a calculated risk that's going to pay off."

New music venue in the works

The Jag Hotel opened in 2014 and now has 84 rooms. Steele recently bought the Gaze Seed, Technip, and the old John Howard Society buildings, all across Buchanan Street from the Jag Hotel.

That's where Steele's new performance hall will go.

With space for around 1,500 people, it's inspired by the Helix multi-purpose venue in Dublin.

"You could have shows in there, dinners, conferences," he said. "It gives us a chance to have high-utilization because it's multi-purpose, but also have a lot of fun."

ut there's still a lot of work to be done before it can open, Steele said.

The John Howard Society building, for example, is not structurally sound and is in "very rough shape."

The venue, which Steele hopes to see opened in two and a half years at the latest, would be larger than both the Arts & Culture Centre and the Holy Heart Theatre, but smaller than Mile One.

There would be collapsible, bleacher-style seating, Steele said, which will mean a variety of events could be hosted there.

With Steele's recent acquisition of the airspace over Buchanan Street, people will get there via a pedway built across the road.

"I think this will be a small piece that will help improve the city. There's many things that make a great city and I think we're going to do our little small bit to help make it a better place," he said.

djslue Feb 18, 2019 2:37 PM

Should be a great addition to the city. Are there any mockups for this expansion?

Marty_Mcfly Feb 18, 2019 4:41 PM

No mockups yet, though I imagine once things get rolling the city will require a LUAR.

overboard Feb 18, 2019 5:19 PM

I'd be surprised if it looks meaningfully different fromn their Halifax proposal which is getting panned it its thread - pretty bog standard contemporary design.

Arrakis Feb 21, 2019 4:52 PM

The city has sold Hutchings Lane to Steele Hotels.

jeddy1989 Feb 22, 2019 1:24 PM


Originally Posted by Arrakis (Post 8482117)
The city has sold Hutchings Lane to Steele Hotels.

Good stuff. I didn't even know there was a "lane" there...more like a space between buildings, hardly even an alley.

Marty_Mcfly Jul 9, 2019 12:49 PM


Originally Posted by Da Jama Lama (Post 8626548)
Just going to place these links right here........

I am not going to comment on the design in general, I leave that for this forum. I'll try and be constructive instead.

Trust me I am not pulling the 'parking is god' argument, i get the downtown can accommodate parking in a multitude of other venues; garages, on streets, etc. BUT lets be blunt, 1400 seats and 160 hotels rooms and you offer 68 parking spaces. WOW. Are they coordinating with Mile One and the conference centre for events. Its a little brazen that they are pushing over 100% of their parking back onto shared infrastructure. If this gets through council it will be shocking.

Good post with a bunch of the city documentation for the proposal.

One thing of note is that the main hotel tower is listed in the LUAR as 36m tall as compared to the original number of 31m. I can't change thread titles so it'll have to stay as is.

Since the proposal is calling for a zoning change, this will have to go to public hearing. I have no idea what the feedback will be though I can sort of take a guess. The concerns about parking that Jama Lama raised will certainly be brought up by more than one person.

SignalHillHiker Jul 9, 2019 12:52 PM

Fixed that for you. I really like this proposal.

statbass Jul 9, 2019 1:01 PM

I think it's a really cool design, very contemporary for Downtown. I think it fits well with DT west end - right up there with the Fortis building and convention centre design. I hope this becomes trend setting for the area. I think it fits well with the current building. If the current hotel had a bit more glass it would sync very nicely.

Very exciting to see this proposal! Keep bringing them on! Let's make the west end DT our density/highrise hot spot!

Marty_Mcfly Jul 9, 2019 3:26 PM

Also noted in the LUAR that if they can't find a way to get everything into 9 storeys that they will add a 10th. That's quite peculiar to say....usually you have your site plan and layout set in stone by this point. Once the zoning is changed [if approved] then they will be granted up to 10 storeys anyway so they wouldn't have to go through much of an approval process from council. This could be an attempt at keeping the height-NIMBYS at bay ("well it's only 9 floors not 10").

thevan Jul 9, 2019 6:20 PM


City of St. John's Media Relations has issued the following:
Public Notice
Wed, 2019/07/24 - 7:00pm
Public Meeting - 9 Buchanan Street, 426 and 430 Water Street
9 Buchanan Street, 426 and 430 Water Street

A Rezoning application has been submitted by Fougere Menchenton Architecture, on behalf of Steele Hotels Limited, for a Hotel (69 rooms) and Place of Assembly (concert hall).

The rezoning to the Commercial Central Office (CCO) Zone will allow a maximum height of 10 storeys for the proposed development. Text amendments to the St. John’s Development Regulations and Municipal Plan are also required.

Time, Date & Location
7 p.m Wednesday, July 24,
Foran/Greene Room, Fourth Floor, St. John’s City Hall

Provide your comments to the Office of the City Clerk including your name and address to: P.O. Box 908, St. John’s, NL, A1C 5M2.

Comments received become a matter of public record and are included in the Council agenda for the date a decision on the application will be made. Any identifying information (including your name) will be removed prior to your comment being released publicly.

Collection of personal information is authorized under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 and is needed to consider your comments on this application. Questions about the collection and use of your information may be directed to the City Clerk at 576-8202 or

Additional Information
These notices are sent to property owners within 150 metres of the application site, using the City’s assessment roll. For more information call 709-576-6192 or email
Background Information
LUAR - Part 1
LUAR - Part 2
LUAR - Part 3
Location Map
Personally a little annoyed that they approved the demolition of the John Howards Building (which dated all the way back to 1849, making it among the oldest in the city) prior to approval of this expansion.

Now if the proposal is rejected, we wind up with another glorious pit and/or parking lot. We better do what they say.. :slob:

jjavman Jul 21, 2019 2:44 PM

Public Meeting
Public Meeting to be held this week on JAG expansion.
Standby to hear the usual 'views will be ruined',
from the usual suspects!

CBSNewbie Jul 26, 2019 11:49 AM

Any word on the results of the public meeting? Many complaints?

statbass Jul 26, 2019 12:38 PM


Originally Posted by CBSNewbie (Post 8642409)
Any word on the results of the public meeting? Many complaints?

With all the hoopla surrounding the Anglican Cathedral annex and nearby developments, I wonder if this one just flew under the radar. ;)

ec1983 Jul 26, 2019 4:36 PM


Originally Posted by statbass (Post 8642436)
With all the hoopla surrounding the Anglican Cathedral annex and nearby developments, I wonder if this one just flew under the radar. ;)

I don't think that is possible. This development is contingent on the relocation of the current parish hall and rezoning of the property.

Engibeer Jul 30, 2019 3:42 PM

A call from the Newfoundland and Labrador Historic Trust for increasing public consultation... oh boy

Architype Jul 31, 2019 12:54 AM

This design looks very good, and contemporary, but remember that the existing Jag hotel, as built, looks nothing like the original propsals for it did.

Architype Jul 31, 2019 12:59 AM


Originally Posted by jjavman (Post 8637861)
Public Meeting to be held this week on JAG expansion.
Standby to hear the usual 'views will be ruined',
from the usual suspects!

I guess it will block the views of the sewage treatment plant, cranes, and drydock.

Offshore1 Aug 6, 2019 11:29 AM

Jag Expansion Update
From the Telegram. Jag expansion a step closer to going ahead.

Horsell Aug 27, 2019 9:20 PM

At least the wrecking ball is making good progress making way for the JAG expansion, the old Technip building was flattened over the weekend. I would love to see shovels in the ground on this one early next year if possible.

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