The West

Top-hotel plan for waterfront

A group of developers wants to build a high-end hotel at Elizabeth Quay under one of the first proposals formally lodged for the Perth waterfront project.

Amid a crippling shortage of hotel beds across the city, the group called Perth Waterfront Hospitality has proposed a four to five-star hotel with 230 rooms, two bars and four "food and beverage outlets".

Perched over the Swan River on the eastern promontory of the multibillion-dollar Elizabeth Quay development, the 10-storey hotel would also have 435sqm of commercial and office space.

Architects for the project are Cox Howlett and Bailey Woodland, the firms behind the designs for the District Court in Hay Street, Fremantle's Maritime Museum and a 65-storey tower in Dubai.

A submission to the Swan River Trust from the hotel's proponents says the development would be an important step in linking the city to the river.

"It will form part a critical nexus between the fabric of the city and Perth's most fundamental icon and the concept the hotel seeks to capture is the essence of that relationship," it says.

"The hotel will form an iconic place within the Barrack Square precinct as part of a highly activated waterfront experience, a place of spectacle and event."

Tourism Council of WA chief executive Evan Hall said though he was not familiar with the proposal, any hotel plans were welcome in Perth given the lack of short-stay accommodation.

He said about 1900 hotel rooms would be needed in Perth over the next nine years "if we are going to have any chance of growing the tourism industry".

Mr Hall called on the State Government to help deliver this goal.

He said there was little incentive for developers to build hotels, when residential projects were cheaper and quicker to build, and the Government needed to cut red tape.

"We desperately need hotel rooms," Mr Hall said. "We need them in the CBD and by the river to show off what is fabulous about Perth.

"We've got the world's highest occupancy level for CBD hotels . . . and that just means we're full.

"We're turning people away, which means they can't go on to holiday in regional WA."

Public submissions on the hotel proposal close on February 11.

The West Australian

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