25/01/2005 - 21:00

Icon gets a $20m boost

25/01/2005 - 21:00

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Western Australian owned and operated Seashells Hospitality Group is currently undergoing expansions on three of its four tourism sites.

Icon gets a $20m boost

Western Australian owned and operated Seashells Hospitality Group is currently undergoing expansions on three of its four tourism sites.

After acquiring Caves House in Yallingup late last year from Cape Hotels, Seashells is undertaking a $20 million upgrade to the four-hectare property.

Managing director Paul King said 36 one- and two-bedroom strata-titled units were being built with prices beginning at $350,000, 50 per cent of which had sold in the past two weeks.

“The Caves House units are not officially on the market, because we are waiting final approvals, but we would like to have them open by Christmas this year,” Mr King told WA Business News.

“We will be responsible for maintaining the heritage of Caves House and its surrounding gardens, buildings and amenities.

“The new development, as well as the restoration of Caves House itself, will be subject to the approvals of the Heritage Council, local shires, conservation and environmental bodies, as well as the surrounding community.

“We intend to restore and enhance the heritage buildings already on the site, as well as build 36 units.

“We would also like to undertake a second stage of development which will support the more commercial, by creating a deli, hair dresser, art gallery, bottle shop and further accommodation.”

Mr King said the concept of investment ownership was fuelled by the baby boomer market.

“We work with the property trend, but there is also a very strong trend in tourism that we work with,” he said.

“WA is growing dramatically in the tourism respect, and the returns out of well managed short-stay tourism are better than the residential property market.”

Mr King said a new $110 million development was due to open in Mandurah some time this year.

“It is a three-stage development with stages one and three sold out, and stage two 45 per cent sold – there has been a very strong response to this site,” he said.

Seashells is also in the second stage of a luxury spa development in Broome, with six of 10 units ranging in price from $300,000 to $400,000 already sold.

Seashells’ first tourism site purchase was in 1994 in Scarborough, and the group has since made acquisitions in Broome, Mandurah, and Yallingup. All these sites operate under managed rights schemes.

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