Middleton Beach hotel: Premier Mark McGowan unveils designs for proposed new $30m development

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Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Official concept image of the Middleton Beach hotel.
Camera IconOfficial concept image of the Middleton Beach hotel. Credit: WA Government

Official designs have been unveiled for a $30 million hotel planned for Middleton Beach, with concept images showing a cascading eight-storey building with sweeping views of Albany’s best known beach.

Premier Mark McGowan revealed the designs during a visit to the site on Friday, where he was joined by City of Albany chief executive Andrew Sharpe, Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington, Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens and Lands Minister John Carey.

The proposed hotel — to be delivered by Pacifica Ausglobal — would have 66 suites across eight storeys, with a combination of one, two and three-bedroom suites.

The ground floor overlooking the ocean would feature food and beverage facilities designed for locals, visitors and guests.

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There will be a public roof terrace on the second level.

The hotel plans are being reviewed by the State Design Review Panel — a committee chaired by the WA Government Architect to provide independent advice on major development proposals.

The State Design Review Panel is working with Pacifica Ausglobal on key design components, including building height in relation to Mt Clarence and Middleton Beach, parking, place activation and its contribution to a successful public beachfront.

Development WA chief executive Frank Marra, Lands Minister John Carey, Premier Mark McGowan, Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington, Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens and Pacifica Developments director John Zendler.
Camera IconDevelopment WA chief executive Frank Marra, Lands Minister John Carey, Premier Mark McGowan, Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington, Albany MLA Rebecca Stephens and Pacifica Developments director John Zendler. Credit: Laurie Benson

If the development gains the support of the panel, a formal development application would be lodged with the City of Albany, with the public given a chance to have their say.

Developers aim to have the hotel under construction in early 2023 and ready to operate in 2024.

The construction phase is expected to create about 180 new jobs.

“We are releasing the latest designs for the hotel which will be a sympathetic design for the local environment,” Mr McGowan said on Friday.

“It’s designed to ensure that it’s attractive and appealing, and will attract tourists not just from WA, but around Australia and potentially the world.

“We are very excited by this development, this is exactly the sort of thing that regional communities like Albany need.

“Albany is a very, very attractive destination, a great tourism town and this will add to the tourism offering of this area.”

Lands Minister John Carey said the hotel would be an exciting addition to the “mixed use activity hub” being created at Middleton Beach.

Premier Mark McGowan in Albany Friday
Camera IconPremier Mark McGowan in Albany Friday Credit: Laurie Benson

“This is an incredible site in Albany, right on the beach, to have a premier hotel with a beautiful cascading design. I think tourists will snap at it,” he said.

Mr Carey said he understood there was a “heated construction market”.

“The advice overall from the construction (sector) is, we are going through a boom,” he said.

“We’ve got a booming economy, booming housing market but over the next 6-18 months we are going to see a decline in construction and that creates opportunities for new development.”

Seashells Group is set to operate the hotel, joining its apartment-style hotel accommodation in Broome, Fremantle, Mandurah, Scarborough and Yallingup.

Friday’s milestone comes after Mr McGowan in December 2020 revealed Pacifica Developments and Ausglobal Group had agreed to buy the prime 3700sqm hotel site.

At the design unveiling on Friday, Development WA chief executive Frank Marra revealed the site was sold for about $1 million.

It was a frustrating wait to find a buyer for the parcel of land, situated in front of the vacant site of the old Esplanade Hotel, which was built by entrepreneur Paul Terry in 1991.

The demolition of the Esplanade Hotel in 2007.
Camera IconThe demolition of the Esplanade Hotel in 2007. Credit: Laurie Benson / Albany Advertiser/Albany Advertiser

After Mr Terry died in a freak helicopter crash in Hawaii in 1993, the Esplanade Hotel was sold to a Singaporean development company which demolished it in 2007.

It has sat empty since then.

Plans to develop a new hotel were scrapped in 2008 when the global financial crisis hit.

The Barnett government stepped in to buy the old hotel site and surrounding land for more than $7m in 2014.

The site, containing four parcels of land, became the Middleton Beach Activity Centre, flagged as the site of a new hotel and mixed residential and retail buildings.

Flinders Parade was realigned between Barnett Street and Adelaide Crescent in 2017 to make way for a hotel development north-west of Three Anchors.

The hotel will be situated opposite Duettes — a project featuring six townhouses which mark the first stage in the purpose-designed, medium density, mixed-use development.

The proposed Middleton Beach hotel would be the second major hotel development for Albany in recent years, after the opening of the $30 million Hilton Garden Inn hotel at the Albany Waterfront Marina in November last year.

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