Tag Archive | "Hotels"

Goldfields' most prominent hotel joins the national backlash.

Kalgoorlie pub challenges midnight lockout

CHRIS THOMSON

Amid a national backlash against hotel lockouts, Kalgoorlie’s most prominent pub has applied to have a ban on patrons entering its premises after midnight done away with.

Proprietors of the pictured Exchange Hotel have asked the state liquor watchdog to remove a midnight lockout that has applied since October 2010 at the venue, on Kalgoorlie’s historic Hannan Street.

Hannan Street has long had a problem with alcohol-fueled violence.

However, in an application to the state liquor licensing director, hotel owner Filigree Holdings Pty Ltd argues the “liquor and hospitality landscape” has changed markedly since October 2010 when the midnight lockout was imposed.

Since then, the nearby De Bernales night club has morphed into a restaurant, Sylvester’s nightclub has closed down, and The Exchange’s Paddy’s Ale House set up as an Irish-themed night club is now a bar-cum-restaurant.

Filigree says there is now only one nightclub operating in the area – the Gold Bar.

If the licensing director does decide to overturn the lockout at The Exchange, patrons will be allowed to enter until 1am on Mondays and Tuesdays, and 2am Wednesdays to Saturdays. The hotel closes at midnight on Sundays.

In 2013, not long after the pub was bought by Leederville-registered Filigree Holdings owned by Kalgoorlie-based accountant Lawson Douglas and property developer David Allan, Filigree successfully applied to have the lockout relaxed for a four-day Diggers and Dealers Conference.

That application also sought approval for adult entertainment, with Filigree arguing The Exchange’s skimpy barmaids were a world famous tourist attraction. The current application argues there were no “incidents” during the usual lockout period.

Lockouts have been implemented at night spots across Western Australia, and are now being trialled or implemented in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.

In the eastern states, lockouts are becoming increasingly unpopular with musicians and venue owners who argue they will turn the likes of Kings Cross and Surfers Paradise into big old Dullsvilles.

Photo: ‘Jarrah Tree’, wikimedia commons under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence.

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Equus apartment owners arc up again - this time about amended hotel plans.

‘Council treating us like illiterate knuckleheads’

CHRIS THOMSON

Owners of flats in one of Perth’s biggest apartment blocks have expressed anger at a 20-storey hotel planned by the owners of the Rydges and QT hotel chains for the site of the defunct Greater Union cinema on the corner of Murray and Barrack streets in the CBD.

oneperth.com.au can reveal that a lawyer has been engaged to complain on behalf of the owners of Equus apartments about the pictured hotel, proposed by landowner Amalgamated Holdings Limited for the corner of Barrack and Hay streets.

In 2013, Amalgamated, which operates Greater Union cinemas, and the Rydges and QT hotel brands, had the pictured hotel approved. However, with Perth in the grip of an extended property slump, the approval was set to lapse and in August the company received the okay from a state planning panel to extend the original approval until August 15, 2017.

greater union skyscraperNow, Amalgamated has requested amendments including a larger number of smaller dwellings on levels 15 to 17, and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Perth City Council believes the windows are “an improvement from the previous design”.

However, when the project came up for approval in 2013, obstruction of views from Equus had been raised as an issue by objectors.

Glen McLeod of Glen McLeod Legal claims to represent the owners of Equus, and opines that Amalgamated’s statement to the council that the windows will allow better views from the new building to be “evidence of a selfish intention to benefit the hotel at the expense of the amenity of the Equus building.”

In a separate submission, Equus resident Mathew Fry disputes the amendments are minor.

“I don’t believe that the major window openings for the proposed development set back of 3.6m is far from adequate privacy for residents,” Mr Fry says.

B and J Potulski also claim the amendments are not minor.

“From our perspective it is very disappointing to see our council treating us like illiterate knuckleheads,” the Potulskis lament.

“This is extremely disrespectful.”

One apartment owner, Jeff Robson, CEO of Access Analytic, disagrees with the naysayers.

“… I wish to express my full support for this,” Mr Robson has submitted to the council.

“Living in an inner city location as we do, the other owners should expect that other high-rise developments will occur and that some of these will be near Equus.

“The existing [Greater Union] building is such an eyesore.

“I think everyone would be far better off if there were a beautiful hotel there instead.”

In the past, Equus owners have been vocal opponents of both the planned hotel, and Ambar night club’s mooted move from Murray Street to Barrack Street which never ended up happening.

The council has recommended that Amalgamated’s amendments be approved. A state panel will decide the hotel’s fate on January 14.

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Festive season was kind to head severer, and fatal fire starter.

Hotel murderers get Christmas Eve parole

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: The festive season was kind to one man who wilfully committed murder at a Perth hotel, and another who set fire to accommodation at a Toodyay hotel killing a fellow guest, with both men granted parole on Christmas Eve.

The first of two men to be granted parole on Christmas eve, Kurt Seel, was in 1995 convicted of life imprisonment for wilful murder after severing with a knife the major muscles that held a man’s head to his body.

KINGS HOTEL MURDER

In November 1994, Seel attended the Kings Hotel in Hay Street, Perth, to meet his co-offender and his soon-to-be victim to discuss a business proposition. Seel and his co-offender decided the deal would not go ahead and left the hotel.

Seel returned to collect his co-offender’s sunglasses and decided to kill the victim.

A written decision published by the Prisoners Review Board says that Seel stabbed the man in the chest, piercing his breastbone and completely severing his aorta.

The man fled, and Seel pursued him. Seel used the knife to slice across the victim’s throat, severing the trachea and jugular vein.

Seel also severed the major muscles that held the man’s head onto his body.

The man fell to the ground and died very quickly.

Senior psychologist Sarah Ballantyne advised the Board that Seel presented a low risk of future violence. She recommended no further clinical interventions for him.

Seel’s last prison charge was 17 years ago, for insubordination.

Before his release on December 30, he was employed in the education area of Bunbury Regional Prison, helping a manager with filing, book keeping and prisoner liaison. The manager described him as regularly handling highly confidential information and having earned the trust of staff and prisoners.

While in prison, Seel completed Bachelor of Arts (psychology-criminology) and Master of Social Science (criminology) degrees.

Now he is a free man, he proposes to work, although no employment had been arranged as of Christmas Eve.

He plans to initially live with his parents, with whom he has been in regular contact since imprisoned.

Having regard to “his serious previous criminal history, the brutal nature of the wilful murder offence and the absence of the capacity for him to undergo a re-socialisation programme” the Board viewed a parole term of five years appropriate.

TOODYAY HOTEL FATAL FIRE STARTER

Also walking free from prison on December 30 was Douglas Birks, who in May 2005 was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non parole period of eight years.

In November 2003, after the bar at Toodyay’s Victoria Hotel closed, Birks, who had been drinking there, started a fire that destroyed the accommodation units, where he had been staying, and killed one person.

A written decision by the Prisoners Review Board says Birks’ community corrections officer considered that Birks now accepted responsibility for starting the fire and appeared “very remorseful”.

Birks, who at the time of the murder was a water truck driver completing road works, has secured full time work as a tow truck driver.

The decision to release him on a three-year term of parole was also granted on Christmas Eve.

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41-floor skyscraper to replace the New Esplanade Hotel.

Big Sheraton to overlook Elizabeth Quay

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: International hotel chain Sheraton wants to erect a 41-level luxury hotel on the doorstep of Elizabeth Quay.

If approved, the pictured Sheraton would rise on The Esplanade, across the street from where Elizabeth Quay is slowly taking shape.

The $110 million hotel would be built on the site of the existing 10-floor New Esplanade Hotel which would be demolished.

New Sheraton Hotel to overlook Elizabeth Quay on The Esplanade PerthThe shiny new Sheraton tower would contain 196 hotel rooms and 89 apartments, 138 residential car parking bays and 67 commercial tenant car parking bays.

The hotel component would house 139 x 33sqm king rooms, 32 x 31 sqm double rooms, 15 x 46sqm junior suites, nine 45sqm universal access rooms, and one 64 sqm executive suite for when Lady Gaga comes to town.

Levels 40 and 41 would each have one 182 sqm, four-bedroom, four-bathroom apartments with 54sqm balcony, one two-bedroom plus study and two-bathroom apartment with balcony, and three two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments with balconies.

The eleventh floor would house a ballroom, again to cater for the specialist requirements of Lady Gaga.

The Ritz Carlton chain has confirmed it will build a hotel at Elizabeth Quay proper.

Perspective by Hassell Architects

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Onetime urban backwater gets a little bit fancy.

Designated Hilton style for Cockburn

CHRIS THOMSON

In a move the local council has dubbed “fantastic” a hotel in of Hilton’s mid-range accommodation brands is set to launch its foray into Australia in the southern Perth locale of Cockburn Central.

The pictured hotel, which carries Hilton’s “Hampton” brand, has been primed for the consideration of a state assessment panel by a glowing recommendation of approval by the City of Cockburn.

If approved, the $49 million hotel will rise to storeys on Signal Terrace.

The 10-storey, twin tower, hotel would have 365 normal hotel rooms and serviced apartments combined.

In recommending the building be approved, Cockburn council says the introduction of a hotel to the city’s centre will be a “fantastic addition that will add to the vibrancy of the area and support local businesses”.

“Being located adjacent to the rail station, the site is particularly suited for this and is likely to provide a good option for visitors to the area who may not need to be located in the Perth or Fremantle CBDs,” the council opines.

The state assessment panel is set to give the hotel its blessing or condemnation this Friday, at high noon.

Hilton hotel brands are going nuts in Perth at present, with the planned Cockburn Hampton joining the long-standing Parmelia Hilton in Perth, and planned Hilton Doubletree hotels at Barrack Square, in Northbridge and in Fremantle.

Image of the hotel: DesignInc.

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Private sector resort like nothing ever seen before at Perth's island playground.

This is what the Rottnest marina will look like

CHRIS THOMSON

Here you have it – the first publicly available plan of the Rottnest Island marina and resort that the Barnett Government wants a private sector developer to erect on its behalf.

Yesterday, in yet another musical media release titled ‘Tide is high for Rottnest resort and marina’ (apologies to Blondie) Deputy Premier Kim Hames announced the new resort and 250-berth marina at Thomson Bay.

The release was light-on for pics of the marina though, so today, oneperth.com.au obliges.

The government is spruiking the marina and resort as an “unparallelled opportunity” for developers to get in on, and the “most exciting and substantive development opportunity in the island’s history”.

Rottnest marina pictureThe state says the marina will be the first and only formal marina complex on the Island. Berths will range from 10 to 30 metres in length.

As a seperate project, the Rottnest Island Authrity will build a barge landing ramp nearby.

Additional facilities at the marina may include a fuel outlet, boat chandlery, and boardwalk with cafe and bar.

“The resort and marina project is the most exciting and substantial development opportunity ever presented to the market,” a government document claims.

“It is a once in a century project of great significance to the island.”

The purportedly “sensational” resort and marina project is being offered by international expressions of interest until 4pm on September 18.

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Bugs get fancy digs in Perth's inner west.

Jolimont insect hotel takes shape

STAFF REPORTER

The City of Subiaco today unveiled its first insect hotel, a sculpture that provides habitat for local fauna, at Mabel Talbot Reserve in Jolimont.

The hotel was engineered by Tim Delany, a student in the faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts at The University of Western Australia, who last year received a scholarship from the city to complete the insect hotel.

At the awards where Mr Delany won the insect hotel building gig, Subiaco Mayor Heather Henderson said she was amazed at the students’ ability to adapt the concept of insect habitats into an art form.

“There was such a diverse range of interpretations,” said Ms Henderson who is pictured with Mr Delany and a prototype of his insect hotel.

“Some of the designs were made of wood, some steel and others plastic.

“I was surprised to find out that many of the students are not even studying art, as they are all so talented.”

Mr Delany used natural materials such as recycled timber from the city’s tree prunings and metal collected from bulk rubbish collections throughout the year.

Insect hotels have proven to be successful habitats for plant pollinators, particularly winged insects such as bees.

The new structure has been tailor-made to suit the local environment, following testing of different prototypes during summer to determine the most effective design features.

Included in the design are materials similar to those found in natural nesting sites, and features such as holes and crevices.

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Hay Street beer garden and high end accommodation for jaded art deco landmark.

Carlton Hotel gets a little bit fancy

CHRIS THOMSON

Six years after pulling plans for a 26-storey tower at the jaded art deco era Carlton Hotel in East Perth, a slick-looking six-floor hotel with Hay Street beer garden is now on the cards.

Back in the day, the reporter, who was then an occasional patron of The Carlton, revealed that a $45 million revamp of the hotel had been put on ice after a City of Perth planner recommended its refusal.

The abandoned 26-storey tower would have had 123 apartments including six three-bedroom penthouses, eight offices, 179 car bays, a swimming pool, games room, theatre and lounge.

In 2011, a smaller, 19-storey tower and revamped Carlton Hotel were approved for the site, but nothing happened and that approval lapsed.

Now, development plans are back on, albeit on a much reduced scale.

The pictured render of a six-floor, 82-room hotel for the site has received a tentative thumb’s up from a  City of Perth advisory committee.

The committee supports the replacement of the hotel’s existing and quite manky back beer garden with a more salubrious one on Hay Street, and has made some detailed design suggestions it wants to see implemented before the latest plans can be approved.

Render of new Carlton Hotel: Scanlan Architects

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Hyatt hotel for Leighton Beach

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: An ugly hole in the ground that has blighted North Fremantle‘s Leighton Beach for half a decade since the end of the last big property boom is set to be partly filled by a five-floor Hyatt Place hotel.

If eventually approved by a state assessment panel, the 100-room Hyatt Place will rise at the northeast corner of  Mirvac’s levelled but vacant block across Curtin Avenue from North Fremantle train station.

Hyatt Hotel Leighton Beach FremantleA rooftop function space with views over the beach, and a swimming pool, are also on the drawing board for the pictured hotel.

A bar, take-away food outlet, herb garden, and shuttle bus from the airport, are also planned.

The building would have a rootop photovoltaic system big enough to meet 20 per cent of the hotel’s energy requirements.

Renders: Campion Design Group

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Subiaco Hotel roof bar was unauthorised

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: The licensee of the landmark Subiaco Hotel has been fined $1000 and banned from playing music in a new roof deck bar that was built despite not receiving approval from the state liquor watchdog.

The $1000 penalty and hotel’s non-compliance with the Liquor Control Act were revealed in a decision published today by Brett Snell, a delegate of the state liquor licensing director.

In July, a liquor inspector determined the new bar, mezzanine level and other renovations opened last year, to much fanfare from Perth’s homogeneic band of big media outlets, were unauthorised.

The inspector served the licensee, Ballingarry Pty Ltd, owned by Michael and Judy Monaghan who have operated the hotel since 1971, a $1000 infringement notice that the company paid.

OAM

Mr Monaghan is a former president of both the Australian Hotels Association and WA Hotels Association, and was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the hospitality industry.

He has served on the boards of the Tourism Council of Western Australia and the Western Australian Tourism Commission.

“However, despite this apparent wealth of knowledge and experience in the liquor industry, as far as I can ascertain, [Ballingarry] has offered up no reason why it undertook the unauthorised alterations to the licensed premises, which is of real concern to me,” Mr Snell noted in his decision.

“Without any relevant explanation, I cannot determine whether this experienced licensee simply made an error of oversight or has knowingly set out on a deliberate course of action in order to achieve the desired alterations, regardless of the law, the interests of the locality or nearby residents.”

IMPEDED LOCAL VOICE

Mr Snell concluded that by undertaking the works before obtaining approval, Ballingarry: “effectively impeded the ability of interested persons from making representations or introducing evidence before the works were undertaken”.

“I have serious concerns over the construction of the roof deck bar and given the unusual circumstances of the application I find it difficult to accept [Ballingarry]’s assertion that a lack of objections by nearby residents [during the council planning phase for the renovations] necessarily equates to a lack of concerns,” he noted.

Renovations to the state heritage listed hotel did not proceed smoothly.

After a planned five-storey overhaul of the hotel was rejected by Subiaco council in 2009, a scaled back revamp was revealed by oneperth.com.au in 2011, and then scaled back again.

CONVOLUTED SUBMISSIONS

Mr Snell expressed concerns that Ballingarry “seemingly ignored,” through “convoluted submissions”, expert evidence in an acoustic report tendered by the company that showed without strict compliance to the report’s recommendations, the roof deck bar would not comply with state noise regulations.

Two of those conditions, opposed by Ballingarry, were that no music be played in the bar, and its doors be closed at all times.

But Mr Snell considered that “the unhindered operations of the roof deck bar will result in ‘unreasonable’ noise emissions being experienced at neighbouring premises and that offence, annoyance, disturbance or inconvenience will be caused to people who reside in the vicinity …”

Accordingly, Mr Snell ordered that the conditions be upheld, two existing speakers in the bar be removed, and a metre-high sound barrier be built around the bar’s balcony.

VERY SERIOUS MATTER

“… the applicant undertook unauthorised works … and effectively extricated itself from the regulatory regime imposed by the Act,” he noted.

“In my view, this is in itself a very serious matter, which is made even more serious by the extensive experience and knowledge of [Ballingarry].

“… it would be the antithesis of the proper development of the liquor industry for the licensing authority to condone unauthorised alterations where those alterations are likely to have a detrimental effect on nearby residents.”

The roof deck bar can hold 70 people for a cocktail party, or 35 diners. The hotel hires the venue out Mondays to Sundays for $200.

The Act imposes a maximum penalty of $10,000 for making any alteration to a licensed premises without the approval of the liquor licensing director.

Photo: Fiona Bradley, flickr

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Hotel pool to span two towers

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: In a sign of what Perth has become, a hotel swimming pool stretching mid-air between two skyscrapers has been recommended for state government approval.

The pictured plans for a 29-storey hotel with 150 hotel rooms and 18 apartments have received the City of Perth thumb’s up for a block of land that runs between Pier and Nash streets in Perth, not far from McIver train station.

Perth hotel pool to span two towersTogether with a 16-storey office building also planned for the site, the project is expected  to cost $145 million to erect.

The main gimmick to draw tourists in is a rectangular swimming pool set to stretch between the two buildings at the 16th floor.

Adding even more razzle-dazzle to the already flamboyant proposal are four portholes that would allow begoggled swimmers to peer through the pool floor to the ground below.

The pan-tower pool is a mini version of the pool that sprawls atop the world’s second most expensive building, the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore.

Perth hotel pool to span two towersThe Pier Street site is owned by an outfit called Yuanlong (Aust) Investment Group Pty Ltd. The plans were developed by the Brisbane office of Marchese Partners architects, and submitted by TPG Town Planning Group.

TPG has told the City of Perth that while the project is undoubtedly ambitious, a structural report indicates it is buildable.

The company concedes that detailed design of the pool has not yet been undertaken, but that an approach to its design and construction has been discussed and agreed between the architect and engineer.

A state panel is scheduled to assess Perth council’s recommendation of approval at a meeting on February 26.

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Marriott hotel design rejected

CHRIS THOMSON

A city design committee has rejected the design of a 23-level hotel planned by high-end international hotel chain Marriott for Wellington Street in the Perth CBD, and sent the architects back to their drawing board.

The committee, chaired by Government Architect Geoff Warn, and appointed by Perth City Council, was unanimously unimpressed by the pictured renders of the Marriott Courtyard hotel planned for 609 Wellington Street, opposite the gargantuan Perth City Link project.

marriott courtyard hotel perthAt a recent meeting, the committee refused to endorse the design of the $47 million, 330-room, hotel, recommending that more work be done.

“The lower levels of the development do not reference the adjoining heritage building and fail to reflect the intricate urban rhythm of the southern side of Wellington Street and, therefore, do not make a positive contribution to the streetscape or to the pedestrian experience of the city,” the committee opined.

The upper floors also copped some architectural critique, despite a 13-minute presentation on the blueprints by Alan Stewart and Daniel Hollingworth of Rowe Group planning consultants which had submitted the renders for council consideration.

The committee complained it had not received a faithful facsimile of what would actually be built, and asked that Rowe Group submit “realistic elevations and perspectives that reflect the floor plans”.

Pictured renders of planned Marriott Courtyard Hotel are as submitted by Rowe Group.

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Subiaco Hotel heritage listed

STAFF REPORTER

Landmark watering hole, the Subiaco Hotel, has been added to the state heritage register.

The popular hotel (pictured) was built in 1896 at the pinnacle of Western Australia’s gold rush.

Showing remarkable recall of the time, State Heritage Minister said that before the hotel was built “Subiaco was little more than a shanty town, populated by hundreds of recently arrived immigrants and prospectors on their way to the goldfields”.

“The hotel was one of the first, and certainly the most elaborate, buildings to be constructed in Subiaco when the suburb was in its infancy,” Mr Jacob said in a media release.

When finished, the extravagant hotel included an elegant steeple-topped corner tower and delicate iron lacework verandahs on both street fronts.

“Today, this opulent architecture acts as a reminder of WA’s prosperity during this gold rush period and the optimism in the state’s good fortune,” Mr Jacob added.

In contrast to its lavish architectural style, the hotel became a working mans’ pub frequented by the local population of labourers and blue-collar workers.

In the late 1890s, under the management of flamboyant Irishman John Murphy, the corner room was used for gambling.

The large windows that look over the Hay Street and Rokeby Road intersection proved a perfect vantage point for keeping an eye out for the constabulary.

Over the years the hotel has undergone lots of work, including removal of the spire in 1963.

Meanwhile, another popular Subiaco hotel – The Vic –  is set to have its local heritage listing downgraded by Subiaco council.

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The designated Hilton style

CHRIS THOMSON

After bowing to the design demands of a Perth city committee, the international Hilton chain looks set to have a 17-level, $30 million, hotel approved on James Street in Northbridge.

In August, oneperth.com.au revealed that the City of Perth’s design advisory committee had slammed Hilton’s plans to erect a DoubleTree brand hotel on the main street of Perth’s main party and red light precinct.

Hilton Northbridge

Before …

Based on the committee’s distaste, Hilton scrapped the original design (pictured, left) and went back to the drawing board.

Now, oneperth.com.au has learned the city has recommended approval of a revised design (pictured above and below, right).

The new design is set to replace a five-level BankWest-owned building three doors down from the Brass Monkey Hotel and across James Street from the salubrious Taboo nightspot.

If approved by a state government assessment panel at a meeting on October 9, and built as planned, the 206 room hotel will have two restaurants, a swimming pool, general store and gymnasium.

Hilton Northbridge

… and after the committee’s tinkering.

The hotel would be made from prefabricated modular units.

Owners of 40 surrounding properties were consulted on the plans.

Not one objection or indication of support was received.

In March, Hilton announced it planned to build two other DoubleTrees in Perth – on Riverside Drive near the colourfully-named Lucky Shag hotel, and in Fremantle.

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