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HOTEL developments worth more than $855 million, with an extra 2500 rooms for Hobart, are either under way or proposed as developers look to tap into the city’s growing tourism boom.
While all the hype and attention has been given to the two hotel proposals by Singaporean developer the Fragrance Group, there are many other projects on the go which are set to change the face of the capital city.
For the 12 months to June this year, there were 1.27 million visitors to the state — an increase of 9 per cent on the previous year.
Catering to these growing numbers, this year has already seen 410 more beds come on board in Hobart with the opening of the Ibis Styles Hobart and MACq 01.
Another 614 rooms are in varying states of progress, with the Marriott, Crowne Plaza and Hyatt Centric hotels, which have a total value of $135 million.
On the drawing board, but yet to be approved by council, are a further six hotel developments with 1411 rooms worth $650 million — bumped up
significantly by the $300 million Homo development at Mona announced in July.
Plans were revealed earlier this week for a $60 million expansion on the site of Battery Point’s heritage-listed hotel Lenna of Hobart, which have been lodged with the Hobart City Council this week.
The original 1874 sandstone building, on the corner of Salamanca and Runnymede St, already features a 1970s extension and owners Lloyd and Jan Clark have joined forces with developer Dean Coleman to construct a new 85-room, sixstar boutique hotel on the existing car park site.
The additional structure will also feature three streetlevel retail tenancies and a publicly accessible podiumlevel social space that opens on to Princes Park.
Heritage Tasmania director Pete Smith said the Tasmanian Heritage Council would wait for the development application to be lodged and would assess the proposal along with representations from the public before considering its own stance on the project.
It also was revealed this week that plans for a $30 million hotel development on the site of a rug and tile centre in Hobart’s CBD have been resurrected under the new planning scheme.
A development application by Sydney-based Ressen Property Group to build a hotel development on the site of the former Myer homewares store in Macquarie St was approved by the Hobart City Council in August 2015.
The Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal later upheld an appeal lodged by nearby businesses, based on height and plot ratio grounds.
This week a new application for 202 serviced apartments was lodged with the council.
Progress on the Vibe Hotel next to the Argyle St car park has stalled for some months, but the Mercury understands the developers are in the middle of final negotiations with the builder and consultants to finalise contracts.
In January, the Hyatt Group announced it would operate a new hotel from the former Westpac Bank building in the Hobart Bus Mall.
Designed by Neal Mackintosh, of JAWS Architects, and to be built by Hutchinson Builders, the 63-metre high, five-star hotel will boast a restaurant, bar and function rooms.
Singapore-based developer Elizabeth Tasmania Pty Ltd cut 10 metres off the building’s original plan to gain council approval.
The developers have now asked the Hobart City Council to relocate Eastern Shore bus stops from the westbound lane of the mall for about 20 months from mid-December while the Hyatt Centric Hotel is built. A recommendation will go to the council on Monday night to give conditional in-principle approval to the proposal.
The $45 million Crowne Plaza was originally due to open next month after the InterContinental Hotels Group signed a management deal with the Kalis Group in 2015 to build the luxury hotel in the Icon Complex.
The progress of the hotel and the overall development had been delayed following the devastating flood in the basement level of the flagship Myer store, when the Hobart Rivulet wall collapsed last year.
In July, an InterContinental spokesman said the hotel would open in the first quarter of 2019.
Kalis Group chief executive Alexia Kalis said this week that progress at the Icon Complex was “ahead of time.”
The Mercury can also reveal that a development application for the former Crescent Hotel at North Hobart has been lodged with the council.
Local firm Michael Cooper and Associates Architects, on behalf of property owner Jiecheng International, lodged an application for a change of use to 14 visitor accommodation units on the site in Burnett St.
Jiecheng International bought the property for $1.1 million in May last year.
Mr Cooper said the existing ground-floor bar area would be converted into two holiday apartments, with first-floor accommodation for larger family stays. At the rear of the hotel, 11 new motel rooms would be built, mimicking the style of the existing building.