The owner of Albany's All Seasons Hotel, Roger Foster, who is leading a private consortium that has been selected by the state government as the preferred proponent to advance a four-star hotel in the regional city has outlined plans for the development, which will be branded Mercure.
Roger and Julia Ann Foster of Mount Claremont are the sole directors of Hotel Development Group Albany Pty Ltd consisting of a syndicate of WA investors, which was named by the state government as the preferred proponent.
The planned 140 room hotel will be part of the Accor Hotel Group, which has more than 4400 hotels around the world.
Mr Foster said the new hotel would cater for domestic and international visitors to Albany and other groups who were “currently not visiting Albany due to a lack of suitable accommodation”.
He said the hotel would provide an entertainment hub including restaurants and bars and would open in the last quarter of 2013 or the first quarter of 2014 in time for Anzac celebrations.
Hotel Development Group will also operate the hotel, which will be built next to the Albany Entertainment Centre, as part of the waterfront project.
The private company was registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission last Friday and is believed to have the backing of a number of local business people.
The company will enter an exclusive 3-4 month working period to allow the government, through Landcorp, to work with the group to fine-tune the proposed development requirements before making a final determination on the submission.
Landcorp business manager Peter McNally said the working period would allow the group to conduct due diligence on the deal as well as work towards signing the contract of sale for the land in Albany.
Lands minister Brendon Grylls said there was a critical need for four star hotel accommodation in Albany and the latest request for proposals process had led to renewed interest among hotel developers.
“When the Albany Waterfront Hotel and short stay accommodation site first went to market two years ago, the response was not good,” Mr Grylls said.
“It was clear the global economic climate had greatly affected potential for hotel development not just in Western Australia, but throughout Australia and the rest of the world.
“Supported by the announcement of new government incentives for hotel investment towards the end of 2011, and a rescoping of the Albany Waterfront structure plan to make it more attractive top developers, the site was re-released to the market this year.
Mr Grylls said proponents were asked to suggest ideas on what it would take for them to build a hotel on the site.
Mr McNally said the hotel, which includes the short-term apartments, would be completed by its target of 2014.