The Ghassan Aboud Group plans to have three $100 million-plus hotel developments under way in the Cairns CBD by the end of 2017, employing about 1500 in the construction effort.
Prime Construction is running all three building projects and says there is plenty of work available for subcontractors, skilled tradespeople, construction project managers and construction administration staff.
“Experience within the industry is vital to be considered,” Prime Group director Andy Taylor said.
“We will be providing employment for 500 workers on each site, so 1500 skilled workers on all three sites.”
Construction kicks off
Work has already started on the redevelopment of Rydges Tradewinds Cairns in a $130 million project that will include a complete refurbishment of the existing hotel and the completion of a new 12-storey tower next door.
GA Group bought the 246-room hotel on The Esplanade for $34 million last year, along with an adjacent corner block with a Queenslander-style home belonging to the original hotel owners.
“It will reopen as a 311-room hotel, with 55 of those rooms in the new tower,” GA Group chief executive officer Mark Davie said.
The development will also include multiple food and beverage outlets, including a roof-top bar on the new tower.
“We have a target completion date of July 2018 for the original building and we’re going to try to get the new tower built around the same time, but more than likely it will take an extra couple of months,” Mr Davie said.
The developer plans to bring the two further hotel projects online in 2019 and 2020.
The second project is a $110 million twin-tower development bounded by Lake St, Abbott St and Aplin St.
“One tower will be a hotel and the second tower will be residential apartments which will be sold off. That has already received all of the preliminary council approvals to move ahead,” Mr Davie said.
“We expect that construction will probably start in April.”
The group has also purchased the Bellview hotel and two properties behind that site to build a 15-storey hotel complex of about 300 rooms stretching from The Esplanade to Abbott St.
Construction of that project, costing about $100 million, is expected to begin in the final quarter of 2017 – meaning the developer will have three major CBD hotel projects on the go simultaneously by the year’s end.
“We’ll effectively have almost 1500 people working on our sites by the end of this year,” Mr Davie said.
He expected the hotels to employ about 500 people when open for business.
Projects inject $900m into economy
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said the combined GA Group projects were expected to provide a $900 million boost to the local economy.
“We’re pleased to be able to work with the developer to progress appropriate, well-planned projects that will benefit our city and its residents,” he said.
“This sort of investment builds confidence in our city and will help Cairns to achieve its fullest potential as a place to live, work and do business.”
The hotel projects are yet to be named, but all will fall under the mantle of the GA Group’s Crystalbrook Collection.
“The Crystalbrook Collection comprises not only these three hotels and future hotel acquisitions, but it is the brand for our luxury lodge in the Chillagoe area, our Crystalbrook Station cattle property and we will be introducing Crystalbrook beef, which will be used throughout the hotels as well,” Mr Davie said.
The 90-foot luxury cruiser MV Bahama, operating out of Port Douglas, is also part of the stable.
Prime opportunity for local trades
Prime Group has been engaged to carry out all three projects from concept to completion.
“That has included conducting all feasibility studies, business modelling, design and now construction of the three hotels for Ghassan Aboud Group,” Mr Taylor said.
He said the Crystalbrook Collection of hotels would be the first set of hotels built in Cairns in more than 20 years.
“We are so excited to be a part of building the future of the city we know and love,” Mr Taylor said.
Prime Group has advised those wishing to become involved in the Cairns CBD projects to email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.