HILTON COMES TO TOWN
Luxury hotel proposed for CBD stadium
ONE of the world’s most famous hotel brands is considering building a 4.5- star property within the new Townsville CBD stadium precinct.
Hilton Hotels has proposed a seven- storey luxury accommodation complex for Townsville after identifying that the North Queensland capital was a “golden opportunity” for its brand.
A memorandum of understanding has been signed with Townsville City Council, which will enable it to negotiate exclusively with Hilton and Queensland firm Focus Pacific Pty Ltd. The proposal includes a 175- bed hotel run by the Hilton subsidiary DoubleTree.
Mayor Jenny Hill and Deputy Mayor Les Walker will today announce the MOU.
ONE of the world’s most luxurious hotel brands is considering opening a 4.5- star property within the Townsville CBD stadium precinct.
Hilton Hotels has proposed a seven- storey accommodation complex for Townsville after identifying that the city was a “golden opportunity” for its brand.
A memorandum of under- standing has been signed with Townsville City Council, which will enable it to negotiate exclusively with Hilton and Queensland company Focus Pacific Pty Ltd. The proposal includes a 175- bed hotel run by the Hilton subsidiary DoubleTree.
City leaders have hailed the move as a “major win” with the potential develop- ment expected to generate economic stimulus.
Mayor Jenny Hill and Deputy Mayor Les Walker will today announce the MOU, which would place the hotel in the heart of the city’s Priority Development Area.
Cr Hill said the council had been working with Hilton to bring the company to the city.
“The MOU shows that the most famous brand in the world wants to be here,” she said. “We have to do a lot more work to get the Hilton signed, sealed and delivered, but they are excited about our plans for the PDA.”
The MOU establishes an exclusive four- month negotiation period to ensure the proposal stacks up commercially and “represented best value for ratepayers”.
Hilton Hotels vice- president development Australasia Rob Scullin said the company saw a “golden opportunity” to establish a strong presence in
the North as part of Townsville’s transformation.
“Our company’s decisions are driven by the economic performance of any city and Townsville is right on the verge of taking off,” he said.
“Hilton Hotels are renowned for choosing quality marquee sites and we see a great opportunity to establish a premium hotel alongside the new stadium and in close proximity to the walkways, cafes, restaurants and the entertainment precinct the council is planning for the PDA.
“What came through very strongly in our discussions with Jenny ( Hill) and Les ( Walker) was the positioning and vision for the city and the passion they have for Townsville.
“We see it strategically important to have a presence in Townsville as the capital for the North and a city that is going places.”
Cr Walker said attracting a luxury hotel group to Townsville had been high on the council’s agenda.
“Everyone knows the Hilton name and having them here in the city right beside the new stadium in a worldclass precinct is an exciting prospect,” he said.
“A Hilton Hotel would generate a huge amount of interest. Business people make judgments on our city and having a Hilton will do wonders for our status.”
Townsville- born Focus Pacific CEO Michael Graham, whose company has a preferred developer agreement with Hilton Hotels, said the city’s PDA plan would attract increasing investor interest.
“None of this would be happening without the strategic thinking by the city and the plans for the inner- city revitalisation,” he said. “We have been blown away at the work that is being done and the innovations the city is looking at.
“Townsville provides us with a great opportunity to diversify our investments.
“Our intention if we proceed is to deliver the project in time for the opening of the new stadium in 2020.
“To meet that sort of construction time frame, we will need to make a decision as soon as possible within the four- month negotiation period of the MOU.”
OUR COMPANY’S DECISIONS ARE DRIVEN BY THE ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE OF ANY CITY AND TOWNSVILLE IS RIGHT ON THE VERGE OF TAKING OFF HILTON HOTELS’ ROB SCULLIN
Hilton’s decision to consider building one of its internationally renowned facilities here is a huge vote of confidence for Townsville. The marquee brand has chosen the city as a potential location for a 4.5- star, sevenstorey luxury hotel that would sit right next to the North Queensland Stadium.
While some local businesses still lack confidence, Hilton’s call is a sign the times are turning.
It is only in its preliminary planning stage, but this proposal may motivate other investors to look no further than Townsville.
The 175- bed hotel would not only add a level of luxury to Townsville but it would bring a brand that has a renowned reputation for class around the world.
The hotel’s proximity to the stadium could also help to attract larger events that would establish the city as an even stronger world- class tourism destination.
The stadium doesn’t need to just be home to Cowboys games.
It could be home to a State of Origin match or host huge international musicians with audiences only having to walk just down the road to sleep.
However, while glossy concept designs of a hotel have been provided, the Hilton proposal is yet another concept that’s being added to the list of potential developments that Townsville could secure.
It has merely emphasised the relevance of the Pure Projects report which outlined the need for a CBD rejuvenation.
What the region is longing to see are tangible results that provide a boost to the economy and create much- needed jobs. And as exciting as this announcement is, it does the region no good just sitting in a backlog of paperwork gathering dust.
The region constantly hears about how beautiful it is and what potential it has but residents are still waiting for the passing of what seems like countless feasibility studies.
They are looking for sods to be turned and companies to start offering jobs. So, the time to act is now. The council needs to get a win on the board.
STAY AND PLAY: An artists’ impression of the DoubleTree hotel mooted for the stadium site.
WORLD PLAYER: Concept designs of luxury brand Hilton Hotels’ proposal for Townsville’s CBD stadium precinct.