13/02/2012 - 14:17

Conditions risk Guildford Hotel restoration, says group

13/02/2012 - 14:17

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Conditions risk Guildford Hotel restoration, says group

The Guildford Hotel Redevelopment Group is seeking to overturn redevelopment conditions proposed by the City of Swan for its plan to restore the historic fire-damaged hotel, saying the $7 million project’s viability is at risk.

Project group lead adviser Jeff Braddock said most of the 29 conditions could be fulfilled, but conditions restricting the owners’ property rights to source funding and joint venture partners or sell all or part of the site needed to be overturned.

“Any developer in 2012 faces difficulties in securing debt finance,” Mr Braddock said.

“The unfortunate commercial reality is that in this climate, if conditions are imposed by authorities that make it difficult to secure funding and development partners and tenants, then a project is unlikely to get finance – and without finance, the development cannot proceed.”

Mr Braddock said the group had applied to the State Administrative Tribunal to get the conditions overturned.

The hotel has been in a decrepit crumbling state since it was gutted by fire in August 2008.

Fears it would be left to rot sparked widespread protest from Guildford residents, who launched an awareness campaign after the fire by tying hundreds of socks to security fencing around the site, in an attempt to 'sock-it' to the owners.

The owners of the hotel, which include well-known Perth finance executives Domenic and Luke Martino from Indian Ocean Group, submitted redevelopment plans for the site in August last year.

Mr Braddock said he hoped the issues could be resolved quickly so the group could launch an expressions of interest campaign to find hotel and market operators.

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