21/08/2015 - 14:11

Hampton style for Cockburn

21/08/2015 - 14:11

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International hotelier Hilton is continuing its march on Perth, with plans approved for a 3.5-star Hampton Inn by Hilton at Cockburn Central.

SHOWCASE: A preliminary artist’s impression of the Cockburn hotel and apartments. Image: DesignInc

International hotelier Hilton is continuing its march on Perth, with plans approved for a 3.5-star Hampton Inn by Hilton at Cockburn Central.

The hotel is the fourth new Hilton-branded hotel in the works for Malaysia-backed developer SKS Group, which is also behind plans for three properties under the DoubleTree by Hilton brand.

SKS Group general manager Francis Foong said the Cockburn property would comprise 146 rooms and 109 apartments in a separate building.

While Mr Foong told Business News he was bound by a confidentiality agreement and could not reveal the identity of the hotel operator, metropolitan south west development assessment panel documents indicate Hampton by Hilton branding on the preliminary designs for the building.

The project, which was approved by the DAP this week, has been designed by architecture firm DesignInc, which is aiming to create a gateway statement for Cockburn Central by developing the tallest buildings around the town square area, at 12 storeys each.

According to the development application, the base construction cost, not including fit-out or design costs, would be $40 million.

Mr Foong said SKS Group would now look to refine its design, however he added there was no rush to begin building at Cockburn just because a development approval was in place.

He said the developer’s priority remained the three DoubleTree properties – at Barrack Square, in Northbridge, and on Point Street in Fremantle.

“Our main priority is to get the Northbridge and Waterfront DoubleTree hotels up and running, because they don’t have any residential components,” Mr Foong said.

“We’ve got forward works on Northbridge already going on, and we’ve just closed the tender for the forward works at the Waterfront.

“And it looks like Point Street will get ahead of Cockburn, so we’ll just do what is required to get it ready for construction.”

The Northbridge and Barrack Square DoubleTree hotels will be built using modular construction methods, with room pods to be manufactured in China by CIMC Modular Building Systems and shipped to Perth.

At Cockburn and Fremantle, residential apartment components mean a conventional method of construction will be utilised, Mr Foong said.

“We don’t think buyers in the residential market are mature enough to accept modular construction yet,” he said.

“There are a couple of main issues there.

“Banks are not too comfortable with it at the moment; we’ve been talking to a few banks and they are not getting the valuations that they could easily get for a conventional build.

“There is also a negative perception around modular buildings. If we were doing something that is targeted at the lower end, I think we could go for it, but in the mid-range, we have to be very careful how we do it.”

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