Piazza plan back on track

PLANS to develop a family-style piazza in Northbridge are back on track after the City of Perth bought the Pallas Hotel for $5.5 million last week.

Earlier in the year the City of Perth was gazumped by the Brock-well Group subsidiary Western Plaza Hotel Corporation when it agreed to purchase the property on the corner of Lake and James Street for just under $6 million.

The City of Perth had been in extended negotiations with owners, Northbridge Pavilion Syndicate, since November 2002 to purchase the site for redevelopment into a town square with restaurants and shops.

The property, which currently is used as a sports bar and food hall, became available for sale again late this year after the Western Plaza Hotels Corporation contract fell through.

The hotel group’s bid to purchase Pallas Hotel had been conditional on the sale of its Raine Square property to proponents of the Raine Square Property Trust, Perth businessmen Neil McKinn-on, Craig Hughes and George Patterson.

The unlisted property trust has experienced delays in raising the minimum $7.5 million subscription required to purchase the $25.7 million Raine Square, which it plans to convert into 195 market stalls.

The Brockwell Hospitality Investments/Western Plaza Corporation has now granted the proponents a third extension to raise the funds, giving the unlisted property trust until April 2004 to generate the minimum subscription.

Western Plaza Hotels Corporation managing director David Williams said the Pallas Hotel was to be the next redevelopment project, however the group’s purchase of the property had been dependent on the sale of Raine Square.

“The freehold syndicate sold to the City of Perth after the contract expired,” he said. “We are comfortable with that.”

Mr Williams said the Western Plaza Hotel Corporation would continue to manage the property.

The City of Perth plans to keep the existing hotel trading while it prepares to develop the site, which is expected to take at least 18 months.



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