07/09/2004 - 22:00

Height an issue for OBH owners

07/09/2004 - 22:00

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In an effort to avoid controversy of the kind surrounding the proposed development of the Cottesloe Beach Hotel, owners of the Ocean Beach Hotel (OBH) have commissioned three development proposals and sent them to local residents for feedback.

Height an issue for OBH owners

In an effort to avoid controversy of the kind surrounding the proposed development of the Cottesloe Beach Hotel, owners of the Ocean Beach Hotel (OBH) have commissioned three development proposals and sent them to local residents for feedback.

Architects were commissioned from Singapore, Spain and Germany to work in association with local architects to design a mixed-use redevelopment for the site, which is more than four times the size of the Cottesloe Hotel site.

A concepts questionnaire has been mailed to all residents and ratepayers in Cottesloe for their feedback, and a display featuring detailed plans and scale models on show at the Cottesloe Civic Centre.

Community preferences for design of the redevelopment will be taken into account, and an application made with Cottesloe Council to amend the Town Planning Scheme.

Under current zoning, restrictions limit height to a maximum of three storeys.

The Quinlivan family has owned the OBH for almost 35 years and Stan Quinlivan said it was time to bring the property into the 21st century.

“It won’t be achieved with just a refurbishment or superficial changes – it needs a total, start-from-scratch redevelopment, and that is why we have sought input from some of the best architects in the world,” he said.

“The site lends itself to some height and a three-storey limit across Cottesloe is ridiculous.

“My hope is that people don’t get caught up on height issues, but look at this as a rare opportunity to redefine the gateway to Cottesloe.

“We want future generations to be able to enjoy an exciting, world-class development on what we believe is WA’s premiere beach-front location.

“We have an opportunity to create a project that will benefit locals, tourists and all West Australians, but it won’t be achieved if people aren’t prepared to look at the big picture.”

Mr Quinlivan said he preferred the German design, which incidentally contains the highest buildings of all the proposals – 11 storeys.

“We need the feedback from residents to make council comfortable with rezoning the site,” he said.

“We think we are doing this in the correct manner and not bulldozing anyone into anything  – locals will drive the process.”

Mr Quinlivan said it would take a minimum of six months to amend the town-planning scheme, and he hoped the redevelopment would be complete in about two years.

All three concepts allow for a new hotel, more cafes, expanded retail, increased short-term holiday accommodation (40-60 rooms), and residential apartments (120-150).

Mr Quinlivan said the redevelopment would have an approximate resale value of $250 million.

The pamphlet mailed to Cottesloe residents says the Quinlivan family is very aware of feelings in the community about developments – and the height of developments – along the coast.

“We are anxious to contribute to the growth of Cottesloe as both a tourist destination and a place to live, through a sensible, transparent and consultative approach to the redevelopment and reinvigoration of the OBH,” the pamphlet says.

“Whatever the community’s response to these ideas, the Town of Cottesloe and the Minister for Planning will have to make a change to the current town planning scheme to implement any plan that can viably deliver a new development with a hotel on the OBH site.

“There will also be extensive public consultation throughout every process.”

An independent jury was established to advise on the merits of the three proposals, and four of the five members recommended the Kerry Hill/ Architects Singapore submission as their preferred scheme.

The jury summarised that, although the proposal was a relatively subdued architectural response and delivered the lowest yield, it was the most appropriate response to the physical and lifestyle context.

The Quinlivans  have chosen Multiplex to redevelop the site and director and general manager, Martin Steens, said engaging the community at the earliest stages was a bit more pre-emptive.

Multiplex is also the chosen developer of the Cottesloe Beach Hotel, which has come under intense scrutiny and criticism from the local community over height concerns.

 

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