Earthworks and landscaping have been ramped up in preparation for a start on the Launceston $15million Silo Hotel development on Northbank, Launceston.
While developer, Errol Stewart, is still tinkering with the final plan, the development team is swelling in numbers as ground work, landscaping and some preparation work on the interior of the Launceston silos is will advanced.
The 11-storey hotel will have 78 rooms, with 68 in the barrels of the silo and 10 attached, using a design based on the nearby Roberts Woolstore building, which is being demolished. The top floor will contain four large apartments with the first floor dominated by a restaurant, cocktail bar and large meeting room.
All accommodation rooms will have superb views looking out over the nearby Seaport and Royal Park, the Tamar River Basin, the Cataract Gorge the stately suburb of Trevallyn.
Prior to its development in the early 2000, the Seaport site was an old dry dock clogging up the area and becoming a giant eyesore.
The $40 million redevelopment on the banks of the North Esk River near the confluence with the Tamar River is now one the most sought after residential areas in Launceston with the luxury housing merging with quality restaurants and the 64-room hotel managed by National company Peppers.
And yes, the visionary who created Seaport was Errol Stewart, the Managing Director of the successful State-wide Jackson Motor Company, who saw the potential of the Northbank development and is now moved into the action stage.
Mr Stewart’s half share backer and close friend is Computershare founder, Chris Morris, who partners Mr Stewart in several developments, including Seaport. Mr Stewart also highlighted the competitive finance market as an incentive for development. The interest costs are about half the interests payments for the Seaport development.
The management rights of the Silos Hotel has been offered to Peppers and negotiations are continuing. Unlike the Seaport hotel, the Silos Hotel will be wholly owned by the developers, so rooms will not be on the market for external sales.
The major stage of development will not start until the work on the new site for the nearby Boral cement operation is underway.
“I hope it’s no longer than six months because I’m ready to start today. While everything has been ticked off for the relocation of Boral, I’m not going start spending big money until works start on their new site,” Mr Stewart said.
“Yes, everyone tells me it will happen and I’m sure they are right but I’ve seen too many certainties fall over and people do their dough and it all ends in tears.
“If the relocation of Boral goes ahead as it should then we could be open for business in January 2016.”
The project is expected to create up to 200 jobs in the construction stage and staffing of the hotel with a major flow on effect for the local economy.