IN a move that aims to help ease Perth's shortage of hotel rooms, the West Australian Government last week announced the release of two city sites for hotel development.
The land, located in the east end of the city, comprises FESA House at 480 Hay Street and the Perth Chest Clinic, located behind FESA House on Murray Street.
Announcing the call for Registrations of Interest (ROI), Tourism Minister Kim Hames said it was the first site released under the State Government's new hotel incentives package that was announced last year.
"Perth desperately needs more hotel rooms, with the average annualised occupancy rate of 85.43 per cent, the highest in the nation," he said.
According to the government, Western Australia is currently the only state in Australia that offers hotel development incentives, which include the provision of Crown land at reduced market rates, flexible floor space bonuses and infrastructure grants.
"This is a prime site in the central business district consisting of more than 7,300 square metres over three lots, and we are very confident it will attract a lot of interest from developers," the Minister said.
The release is being conducted by LandCorp and it is expected that the successful developer will be announced by the end of the year.
Forecasts suggest that an extra 1,900 hotel rooms will be needed in Perth by 2020 and Dr Hames said several other government sites were currently being assessed for possible hotel development under the incentive scheme.
Staff currently working in FESA House will be gradually moved into the agency's new headquarters in Cockburn by the end of the year.