14/04/2010 - 09:26

Albany's high-end hotel calls for EOI

14/04/2010 - 09:26

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Today marks the first step in Albany's quest towards constructing two much-needed hotels with the state government calling on developers to build a new luxury hotel overlooking the Southern Ocean.

Albany's high-end hotel calls for EOI

Today marks the first step in Albany's quest towards constructing two much-needed hotels with the state government calling on developers to build a new luxury hotel overlooking the Southern Ocean.

As foreshadowed by WA Business News last week, the state government today launched the marketing process for a key hotel site in the seaside town by calling for expressions of interest to build and operate a new four-star or higher rated hotel and short-stay apartments as part of the $110 million The Waterfront at Albany development.

Lands Minister Brendon Grylls said the hotel and short-stay site was integral to the success of Albany's waterfront development and added to the mix of accommodation already available.

"Although a major tourist destination and commercial hub, Albany has no four-star or higher rated hotels or equivalent short-stay apartments," Mr Grylls said

Albany Mayor Milton Evans previously told WA Business News that business and leisure travellers continued to be turned away from the town due to a lack of appropriate accommodation facilities.

The only other high-end hotel in town, formerly located at Middleton Beach, was The Esplanade Hotel which was demolished in February 2007 by its Singaporean owners, WSP Plaza (which is controlled by investment outfit CS Partners), with little activity at the site since that time.

Mayor Evans said he was planning a trip to Singapore in the coming weeks to meet CS Partners, hopefully accompanied by members from Tourism WA, to ascertain the reason behind the delays and reaffirm the town's support for the planned $70 million, 81-room five-star hotel complex.

"I think we're seeing a light at the end of a tunnel and I know the future is very bright for Albany ... we must keep abreast of the appropriateness of the development," Mr Evans said.

"I wouldn't be going down this road if I didn't feel there was likely to be a positive outcome."

Tourism Minister Liz Constable said Albany was an important gateway to the South Coast of Western Australia and received more than 253,000 overnight visitors last year.

"Albany has continued to grow in popularity but has been waiting a long time for a hotel of the calibre we envisage for the waterfront development," Dr Constable said.

"We are seeking a hotel developer or consortium to help attract both tourists and business visitors by providing premium hotel and short-stay apartments, as well as function and conference facilities."

The hotel and short-stay apartment site comprises 9,599 sqm and is located adjacent to the new $70million Albany Entertainment Centre, due to be completed by the middle of this year.

When completed, the Waterfront at Albany will comprise this new hotel and short-stay accommodation options as well as restaurants, cafes and shops. And there's potential for a 161-pen marina, with up to 74 pens in Stage 1 all sitting alongside the new 620-seat Albany Entertainment Centre.

Siteworks and construction of the marina for the waterfront to be completed early next year.

Expressions of interest for the hotel and short-stay sites close at 2pm, Thursday, June 24.

 



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