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Accommodation plans for Northbridge hotel

OWNERS of the Hotel Northbridge on Brisbane Street are considering a substantial addition to their accommodation facilities across the road.

The redevelopment of a strip of shops on the corner of Brisbane and Lake streets in Northbridge is slated to include four residential spaces above the retail space, and it’s understood the hotel is considering utilising this space for hotel guests.

Reefking director Ray Jackson said his business owned the freehold lease for the property and confirmed the Hotel Northbridge was thinking about using the new residential space as an alternative accommodation option for the hotel.

“It would be motel space that we would have as an annex to the hotel, but it’s not for me to comment on,” Mr Jackson said.

The completed development will include five retail properties, including a cafe and maybe a continental deli-style takeaway food operation.

J&J Commercial Cleaners director John Italiano, the owner of the property, knows this area of Northbridge and said the retail strip redevelopment was prompted by the Perth City Council’s concern that the shops were looking a bit shabby.

“We looked at spending $80,000 to clean up and then $200,000 … and now it’s up to about $1.3 million,” Mr Italiano said.

“We had no problem with the council, but heritage, that has been difficult to deal with. We just never seemed to find any common ground,” he said.

A heritage architect was appointed to work with the architect and solve the heritage solutions. The final plans have retained the original shop facades and include an element of public art.

Mr Italiano said the council wanted something that depicted some of the history or culture of the area.

“There have only been two people who owned the property – my family and the original owner, who ran a brick-making factory in East Perth. So there are a couple of big wrought-iron gates on Lake Street and we are going to include some (representation) of the brick making in the gates,” he said.

Construction is expected to be completed by early February next year and Mr Italiano claims there are a number of parties interested in the new retail property – particularly the restaurant space.

“A lot of young professional people are moving in, the prices are just astonishing,” he said.

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