Eighty-five ocean-facing rooms, six storeys, rooftop gardens and a beachfront bar form part of the vision for the hotel expected to be under construction at Binalup/Middleton Beach before the end of the year. Premier Mark McGowan in December 2020 revealed Pacifica Developments and Ausglobal Group had agreed to buy a prime 3700sqm site to build a $25-$30 million hotel to be operated by Seashells Hospitality Group. The site has sat empty since 2007, when the former Esplanade Hotel was demolished. More than a year after the announcement, Pacifica Developments managing director John Zendler said the final development application would be submitted to the City of Albany this month. Mr Zendler said Pacifica aimed to secure the title for the land in October — with the process delayed by COVID and a construction backlog — and begin construction this year. “We have been working with both DevelopmentWA and the City around various iterations of the design,” he said. “We have submitted what would be the beginnings of a development application to both the City and Development WA just for a bit of a cursory look with the intention of formally starting that development application process within the next week or two.” Mr Zendler said the hotel had been designed to be “sympathetic” to the environment and visually appealing from all angles. “We are not building something that is just this big monolith sitting on the beach that doesn’t work in with the rest of the environment,” he said. “(We are) moving away from that Gold Coast-looking apartment or holiday experience. “It is designed around two parts — blending in with the surroundings and also maximising that magnificent water view out the front.” The hotel will feature a single corridor that wraps around the site so each of the 85 apartment-style rooms has a view of the ocean, Mr Zendler said. “They are big and spacious one, two and three-bedroom apartments and many of them have big garden terraces coming off them,” he said. “There is a lot of green in this building, a lot of green spaces, a lot more rooftop gardens and terraces and those sort of things that you normally wouldn’t see in a hotel. “This is a building that wraps around the site and steps over different levels and is really quite interesting. “We are aware of the weather down there so we have designed something that works just as well on a windy wet day as it does on a beautiful sunny day. “With lots of operable glass that can open up when the sun is shining (and) just as easily close up on those winter days ... with fireplaces inside to cosy up away from the weather.” Mr Zendler said an important part of the new development was creating a new restaurant and bar for locals to enjoy. The site will also feature a beachfront retail outlet and function spaces for celebrations, milestones and weddings. “It is about understanding that location and historically what it was to the town in terms of the great old hotel that was there and it was a bit of a place for locals to come and eat and drink — that is what we have done,” he said. “We have got a very, very separate food and beverage area that is branded separately and stands alone from the hotel and is really there first and foremost for the community. “We believe that tourists and visitors coming to visit Albany will want to be where the action is and want to sort of be part of that everyday life of the locals. “We haven’t gone the rooftop bar on this one just purely because we have focused more with another beautiful bar that is going to spill straight out on to the beach.” Mr Zendler said if all went to plan he hoped to see the hotel finished by Christmas 2023. “The planets would have to align for that but that is what we are aiming for at the moment,” he said.