AN EIGHT-million-dollar hotel and conference centre could be on its way to Williamtown after a development application (DA) for the site was lodged with Port Stephens council last month.
Situated in the airport precinct the proposed site is located on the corner of Williamtown Drive and Nelson Bay Road and if approved would be constructed over two stages. The proposed hotel will be constructed and operated by GWH Build which is also in final negotiations with hotel operator Accor for the branding of the development as a Mercure hotel. According to GWH director Jonathon Craig work on the site would begin very late in 2012 or early 2013, with the first stage of the development due for completion around September 2013, pending approval from council.
He said the speed of the stage two development would depend on demand, with the company envisaging a three to five year project.
"With the huge growth in the airport itself there is nothing else around there [and] the majority of people who fly in and out have to stay in Newcastle or the further surrounds, this will fill that void," he said.
The first stage of construction will feature a restaurant and bar, gym and 94-square-metre conference centre, plus an initial 86 rooms over four levels and 79 car spaces. The second stage will add a west-wing to the building featuring an extra 72 rooms and 22 car-spaces. Currently on exhibition, the development is subject to the approval of a separate DA to sub-divide land at the site and formalise entry off Creswell Way. Mr Craig said he was confident the proposal would pass through council.
"We've had a number of meetings with council and they have been very supportive of the proposal so far," he said.
"It is a massive positive for the area to have the first airport hotel ... we're very excited about it."