Hotel hits the spot

By Chris Thomson | posted on January 10, 2019

A HOTEL designed to the specifications of Hilton’s Garden Inn brand has been unanimously approved for a block owned by Albany business identity Paul Lionetti across the street from his Due South tavern.

In October, it was revealed here that an application for the $17.2 million hotel’s approval had been lodged, with Mayor Dennis Wellington saying Mr Lionetti wanted the inn built by Easter 2020 (‘Marina hotel ‘by 2020’’, 11 October).

On Monday, Chair of the Southern Joint Development Assessment Panel, Gene Koltasz, told The Weekender his committee had just approved the 108-room hotel.

“It was unanimously approved today that the conditions, as recommended, be adopted,” he said.

“The Council and the developer spent a lot of time working through the application and the outcome was one which was considered to be appropriate for the site and addressed a number of the concerns that people and organisations that made submissions on it had raised.”

Urban planner Neil Smithson, beaten by Mr Wellington in a two-horse race at the 2015 Albany mayoral election, was at the panel meeting in Perth.

“I think it was an excellent outcome,” Mr Smithson said.

“Basically, result is an excellent decision by the group and that’s the way the presiding member ran it.

“I think he was always looking for a unanimous decision.”

Mr Smithson said there was a “lot of good discussion”, with construction management, dust abatement and landscape management plans put on the table on the meeting.

If built by Easter 2020, the five-floor hotel will be Albany’s first international inn since The Esplanade was demolished at Middleton Beach in 2007.