The West

Drinks may flow again at historic city hotel
Drinks may flow again at historic city hotel

An historic Perth pub that fell victim to Alan Bond's ambition nearly 30 years ago could soon be serving drinks again under a $10 million plan by one Australia's biggest developers.

The Palace Hotel, a favourite drinking spot for St Georges Terrace workers and once regarded among the country's grandest hotels, closed in 1986 to make way for what would become the Bankwest Tower after a failed campaign to save the pub.

A development application lodged by Brookfield Office Properties with the City of Perth last week has proposed a $9.8 million refurbishment for the site for commercial and retail use, including scope for restaurant and small bar tenancies.

The Weekend West _understands developers hope to light up the facade of the building.

A leasing campaign to attract tenants has started. Works are expected to start late this year and would take about eight months.

The Palace was built in 1896 on the site of the former Freemasons Hotel by US prospector John de Baun after he struck it rich in Coolgardie's mining boom.

The National Trust-registered building is regarded as a good example of the Federation Free Classical style and in the first half of the 20th century was considered one of the country's most opulent hotels, with fireplaces from Scotland and what was said to be the first electric lift in WA.

Former city workers who frequented the Palace during the 1970s and 1980s, when it was a particular favourite among journalists, recall its dining hall and roast beef sandwiches. The Commonwealth Bank bought the site in 1972 for $2 million with plans to build an office tower but after a public outcry the bank sold the site to Bond Corporation for $5.5 million six years later.

Mr Bond and the R&I Bank partnered to build what was known as the R&I Tower.

Much of the original pub was demolished.

Its facade was preserved but the interior was largely gutted, with some exceptions such as the grand central staircase.

Brookfield Office Properties declined to comment.

The West Australian

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