SAMM Holdings plans Regal Plaza complex at YYZ East

Ali Akman, president of SAMM Holdings. Photo: SAMM Holdings.

TORONTO — SAMM Holdings is planning a $130 million mixed use development, including a 204-key Staybridge Suites hotel, plus retail and condo offices, that will open in 2022 on vacant land adjacent to the Holiday Inn Toronto Airport East at Dixon and Martin Grove, right next to the on-ramp for the 401.

Ali Akman.

Construction on the new development was supposed to start April 15, but has been delayed due to the current COVID-19 situation, Ali Akman, president of SAMM Holdings told CLN. The hotel is already sold and the flag determined; and sales of the office condos will begin this fall.

The company has been acquiring and selling hotels since 2013, and used to own four hotels in the GTA: the Delta Toronto East, Holiday Inn Airport, Travelodge Oshawa and Best Western Waterloo. They sold these hotels at the peak of the market by 2018.

They were also involved in The Kennedys, a mixed use development with 700 condos on the Delta Toronto East property at Kennedy and 401, but they had a shareholders’ dispute and sold it to Sunray in 2018.

“We then looked outside the GTA because we could get a better CAP rate and ROI,” Akman noted.

SAMM Holdings’ hospitality division currently owns six hotels in Canada plus two in Europe. Canadian properties include the Ramada by Wyndham and Travelodge by Wyndham in Thunder Bay; Days Inn by Wyndham and Travelodge by Wyndham in Moncton, N.B.; Comfort Inn, Bathurst, N.B.; and Travelodge by Wyndham Halifax.

“We are negotiating to acquire more hotels,” Akman said. The company currently has 720 rooms, and a target of 2,000 rooms by 2021.

Rendering showing the new Regal Plaza development.

The new development, called Regal Plaza, will include a ground-level shopping arcade and an upscale restaurant. SAMM Holdings is currently negotiating the brand.

“We have already done similar projects in Europe,” Akman said. “I like a mixed use project because there is a lot of action within the building. It also mitigates the risk for the developer and owner because of the different sectors.”

The beauty of the location is that it is the last hotel east of the airport on the Airport Strip, with easy access to the 401. This makes it convenient for corporate travellers and condo office owners to access both the airport and downtown. The Staybridge Suites can also accommodate long-term stay travellers. The property will have a 24-hour shuttle to the airport as well.

While SAMM Holdings no longer owns the adjacent Holiday Inn, Akman notes that property completed an $8 million renovation in January, and is essentially a brand new hotel. The Perkins Restaurant will remain on that site.

Rendering showing the new Regal Plaza development.