By Chris Thomson | posted on October 11, 2018
FORGET Middleton Beach; Albany’s best chance of landing a luxury hotel soon is at the harbour-front block beside Due South tavern where owner Paul Lionetti wants a hotel built in the next 18 months.
Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington told The Weekender a development application for a hotel on Mr Lionetti’s block had been lodged and the local business identity wanted the likely six-floor structure built by Easter 2020.
“It’s a design and construct thing with Pindan Constructions,” Mr Wellington said.
“It has 108 rooms.
“It fits within the guidelines of the agreement under which that land was originally set up.”
Mr Wellington said he was not in a position to confirm the hotel’s likely star rating.
“I haven’t had it really confirmed about the operator but we understand it will be a major chain, which would be advantageous in terms of them going to their database around the world and advertising this new hotel in Albany,” he added.
“It’s certainly something that we do need and the sooner we get it the better.”
The plans are being considered by City staff ahead of referral for a decision by a State-convened assessment panel on which Mr Wellington and Councillor Bill Hollingworth are the only locally elected officials.
“I think it’s a terrific idea,” Mr Wellington said of the hotel.
“I think it’s something we desperately need into our tourism product that we have a top-class hotel down there.
“I think if it goes through it would be excellent.”
Last month, State Lands Minister Rita Saffioti confessed not one developer had expressed interest in building a hotel on a plot at Middleton Beach left vacant when the much-loved Esplanade Hotel was demolished in 2007.
Mr Wellington said a recent approach by Mr Lionetti to convert some of the project’s rooms into apartments was yet to be resolved and did not form part of the current application.
Mr Lionetti declined to comment.