Ho­tel still on agenda

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

Plans for a ho­tel de­vel­op­ment at the Quar­ter are be­ing pushed for­ward de­spite slug­gish oc­cu­pancy rates at ex­ist­ing ho­tels and the pub­lic’s grow­ing af­fec­tion for the tem­po­rary green space.

LandCorp is push­ing ahead with the pro­posal and in­for­mal talks for a ho­tel de­vel­op­ment as part of stage two of the Quar­ter have been held with five groups since pre­vi­ous pro­po­nent Ramtron with­drew its in­ter­est in Jan­uary.

Ramtron had planned a $65m, 144-room Dou­ble­tree by Hil­ton to take up the site but was un­able to raise the funds re­quired.

Sev­eral Kar­ratha ho­tel man­agers kept cards close to their chests when ques­tioned on va­cancy rates, but it is be­lieved to be sit­ting about 50 per cent this year.

LandCorp West Pil­bara re­gional man­ager Travis McNaught said they were en­ter­ing dis­cus­sions with one of the in­ter­ested pro­po­nents.

“We are cur­rently in ini­tial ne­go­ti­a­tions re­gard­ing the terms of an ex­clu­sive work­ing pe­riod,” he said.

“LandCorp will ad­vise any pro­gres­sive out­comes should a for­mal agree­ment be reached.”

The site has hosted sev­eral events since the Quar­ter opened and is due to host the world pre­miere of Red Dog: True Blue in De­cem­ber.

A poll on the Pil­bara News Face­book and Twitter pages showed a strong pref­er­ence to keep the grassed area, with more than 80 per cent of read­ers vot­ing against build­ing a ho­tel.

Mr McNaught ruled out leav­ing the site as a pub­lic open space.

“It will only re­main as a tem­po­rary event space un­til we have a de­vel­oper se­cured for the site,” he said.

“Fur­ther open space is be­ing pro­vided as part of the Arts and Com­mu­nity Precinct and the fu­ture park on the cor­ner of Wel­come Road and Sharpe Av­enue.”

Kar­ratha In­ter­na­tional gen­eral man­ager Glen Barnes would not com­ment on the Quar­ter ho­tel pro­posal, but said the sec­tor was al­ready a bat­tle be­cause of tem­po­rary work­force ac­com­mo­da­tion camps com­pet­ing with ho­tels for room nights.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said the Quar­ter had been a “won­der­ful” ad­di­tion to the city cen­tre.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.