Hilton Hotels has engaged with the Townsville City Council to secure a 4-month negotiation period in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build a Double Tree by Hilton hotel near the site of the North Queensland Stadium in the Priority Development Area (PDA).
Townsville’s tourism and accommodation reputation could take a massive step up on the international stage as Hilton hotels are one of the largest hotel chains in the world with nearly 5,000 properties in 103 countries.
Queensland development company, Focus Pacific Pty Ltd is the Hilton Hotel’s preferred developer in Australia. Focus Pacific CEO Mr Michael Graham was born in Townsville.
Focus Pacific and Hilton are assessing the feasibility of building a 4 ½ star hotel with a capacity of 175 beds within the North Queensland stadium precinct.
The company is aiming to build the new hotel before the 2020 NRL season commences when the NQ Cowboys is scheduled to play their first home game at the new stadium.
Townsville City Council Mayor Jenny Hill said: “The council has been actively working with the Hilton behind the scenes to bring them to the city and the MOU shows that the most famous brand in the world wants to be here.”
“We have to do a lot more work to get the Hilton signed, sealed and delivered, but they are excited about our plans for the PDA and the opportunities that we’re creating in the city.
“The MOU establishes an exclusive four month negotiation period to make sure it stacks up commercially and represents best value for ratepayers.
“We will do all of the due diligence on the proposal and any final agreement will come back to council for formal approval.”
Hilton Hotel’s vice-president development Australasia Mr Robert Scullin said the company saw a golden opportunity to establish a strong presence in the north as part of Townsville’s transformation.
“Our company’s decisions are driven by the economic performance of any city and Townsville is right on the verge of taking off,” Mr Scullin said.
“Hilton Hotels are renowned for choosing quality, marquee sites and we see a great opportunity to establish a premium hotel alongside the new stadium and in close proximity to the walkways, cafes, restaurants and the entertainment precinct the council is planning for the PDA.
“What came through very strongly in our discussions with Jenny and Les was the positioning and vision for the city and the passion they have for Townsville.
“We see it strategically important to have a presence in Townsville as the capital for the north and a city that is going places.”
Hilton Hotel building Townsville focused
Townsville born Focus Pacific CEO Michael Graham, whose company has a preferred developer agreement with Hilton Hotels and has numerous developments underway in Brisbane, said the city’s plans for the PDA would attract increasing investor interest.
“None of this would be happening without the strategic thinking by the city and the plans for the inner-city revitalisation,” Mr Graham said.
“We have been blown away at the work that is being done and the innovations the city is looking at.
“Townsville provides us with a great opportunity to diversify our investments.
“Our intention if we proceed is to deliver the project in time for the opening of the new stadium in 2020.
“To meet that sort of construction timeframe, we will need to make a decision as soon as possible within the four month negotiation period of the MOU.“
It is understood that other international hotels are looking at Townsville due to the major projects that are expected to stimulate the Townsville economy over the next decade or more.
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