Race on to realise hotel plan

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
An artist’s impression of what the $17 million waterfront hotel will look like when it is completed.
Camera IconAn artist’s impression of what the $17 million waterfront hotel will look like when it is completed.

The $17 million Albany waterfront hotel is a step closer to reality after receiving unanimous support at a Perth planning meeting on Monday.

In a 40-minute meeting the five-person Southern Joint Development Assessment Panel backed the City of Albany Senior Planning Officer Adrian Nicoll’s recommendation to approve the $17.2 million development, with some alterations.

Included in those changes are understood to be a requirement to screen parts of the building from Mt Clarence and a dust management plan during and post construction.

DAP presiding member Eugene Koltasz said, but for those concerns, the panel quickly backed the plan.

“There was a discussion about the impact of the building and generally it was felt the outcome was good development which addressed a lot of the concerns of people who had made submissions,” he said.

The development is planned to be a five-storey, 108-room hotel with bar and restaurant, resident gym, two shops and 120 parking bays — 22 fewer than previously proposed.

It is the brainchild of local businessman Paul Lionetti, who co-owns the adjacent Due South tavern and a nearby supermarket.

However, despite Monday’s approval Albany planner Neil Smithson said Mr Lionetti could be under the pump to meet a mid-year deadline to begin construction.

The land was sold by LandCorp for $1.5 million in May 2016 on the condition development of a hotel began by May 2019.

Now four months from that deadline, it could be a race to get final approvals and begin construction.

The SJDAP meeting was originally planned for December but was postponed due to Mr Koltasz being unwell, losing valuable weeks, and a building licence is still required.

Mr Smithson said taking a hotel from planning approval to beginning construction in five months could be challenging.

“It is a short period for a hotel, which is a major public building,” he said.

Mr Lionetti declined to comment.

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