26/03/2014 - 10:46

Ritz-Carlton confirms Perth hotel plans

26/03/2014 - 10:46


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Ritz-Carlton has confirmed it will open a luxury hotel at Elizabeth Quay, marking a return to Australia for the high-end operator.

Ritz-Carlton confirms Perth hotel plans


Ritz-Carlton has confirmed it will open a luxury hotel at Elizabeth Quay, marking a return to Australia for the high-end operator.

As foreshadowed in Business News last October, the state government has selected Hong Kong-based Far East Consortium as the preferred proponent to develop the hotel and apartment component of the 10-hectare riverside precinct in partnership with Ritz-Carlton as the operator.

The 204-room, five-star Ritz-Carlton Perth development has been valued at $350 million and will include 420 luxury apartments across two towers, ground floor retail space, and fine dining.

The hotel is set to open in 2018, with ground-breaking expected during 2015. The construction of the project is expected to create about 1,000 jobs.

The development will take up lots nine and 10 of the Elizabeth Quay precinct, adjacent to the Bell Tower.

A luxury one-bedroom apartment at the project will cost $550,000, with three-bedroom apartments likely to cost just under $2 million.

Premier Colin Barnett said the sale price for the land was likely to be around $25 million, but the government will also receive an undisclosed share of revenue from the sale of apartments.

"The land is sold at a different value because a hotel cannot support high values as a commercial office space can," Mr Barnett told reporters.

"We don't know the final figure yet but it is a positive return and means that to this point, around $100 million worth of property has already been sold 18 months before the completion of the development of Elizabeth Quay itself so I'm delighted by that."

Planning Minister John Day said the government was still aiming to secure a total return of at least $200 million from land sales at the project.

He said the government had shortlisted five bidders for lots five and six of the precinct, which are 3,500 square metres each in size and earmarked for mixed-use development.

Despite the fact that major construction will continue through to 2018, Mr Day maintained the precinct would be open to the public by late 2015. 

"By about November of next year, the precinct will be completed and it will be open to the public to come and start enjoying the area," Mr Day said.

"While there'll be construction work under way at the private sector buildings around the precinct, all of the public areas will be open."

It’s understood the Far East Consortium fought off competing bids from a syndicate led by Brookfield Multiplex, Frasers and Woods Bagot, and a third group made up of Leighton in partnership with Sheraton and Hassell.

Far East Consortium chairman Tan Sri David Chiu said the development would become an iconic part of Western Australia's tourism landscape.

"We look forward to creating a set of landmark buildings on the Perth waterfront which will herald Perth's arrival as a world class city in Australasia," he said. 

Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive Bradley Woods said the Ritz-Carlton's decision to choose Perth for its return to Australia was a sign of confidence in the future of the city.

"Today’s announcement is further evidence of international investors and exciting international brands competing to enter WA’s hospitality and tourism market," he said.

“The Ritz-Carlton is one of the world’s leading luxury hotel brands and will attract important international tourists and help make WA a more competitive Australian destination.

“Perth’s Elizabeth Quay and its state-of-the-art facilities will be crucial in attracting interstate and international tourists, filling gaps left by a settling mining sector."

The Ritz-Carlton Perth is one of several major hotel developments set to come online in Perth in the coming years.

Planning approval for three towers of offices, a hotel and residential apartments at the Old Emu Brewery was granted in July last year, but since then only the residential tower has received a building permit.

A boutique six-star hotel is being developed at the Old Treasury Building, while a 350-room Westin hotel on Hay Street, which BGC is preparing for construction, has state government support.

The team behind Little Creatures, meanwhile, is building its boutique Hotel Alex Perth on William Street in Northbridge.

In addition, Crown is planning what will be Perth’s largest hotel, Crown Towers, as part of a larger gaming and resort expansion.

Data released last month by the AHA showed there was more than $3 billion worth of investment in Perth and Fremantle’s hotel development pipeline.

Energy giant Chevron was last year announced as the first major owner-occupier at Elizabeth Quay, paying $64 million for lots seven and eight on the corner of Barrack Street and The Esplanade.

Chevron can build a tower up to a maximum of 36 storeys under the design guidelines for the project, which is estimated to cost between $800 million and $900 million.

Construction of the tower is expected to commence in late-2016, following completion of the public spaces including boardwalks, cafes and parks, which are set to open in the spring of 2015.


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