Property developer Saracen is forging ahead with a $23.8 million plan to refurbish East Fremantle’s 120-year-old Royal George Hotel and develop apartments beside it.
Property developer Saracen is forging ahead with a $23.8 million plan to refurbish East Fremantle’s 120-year-old Royal George Hotel and construct an apartment building beside it.
The classical style brick and limestone heritage building on the corner of Duke Street has been hidden by scaffolding since late last year as work gets underway on the restoration of the building and the verandah.
Now, developer Saracen has lodged a development application proposing the refurbishment of the building, which has remained vacant since being saved from demolition by local lobby groups.
The application has also sought permission to construct 23 residential apartments and an office space on Duke Street within a 28-metre, nine-storey building adjacent to the hotel, designed to comply with the height limit stipulated in the recent planning scheme amendment.
Fremantle-based architectural firm spaceagency, which spearheaded the concept design, have proposed that the building be a modern contrast to the heritage hotel, with recessed balconies and fold back to maintain views of the cupola from the north and west.
The development is less than half the size of the 21-storey tower previously proposed after the company purchased the land back in 2017.
Project director Joel Saraceni said the development would reinforce local identity and deliver additional amenity to the area.
“With initial restoration works already underway, our plans for the Royal George Hotel will see the existing building faithfully restored and adapted to house a range of uses including food and beverage, accommodation and artisan makers,” he said.
“There will be a central courtyard space between the buildings that will act as an extension of the George Street precinct with alfresco dining.”
The application was lodged with the state’s development assessment unit last week, a body established to streamline the approvals process and expedite developments to assist with economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19.
A spokesperson from the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage told Business News the proposal would be referred to the Town of East Fremantle and other stakeholders, with public consultation to follow.