City's CBD plans land exclusive MOU for new Hilton
Date published: 4 August 2017
Townsville City Council has secured an exclusive agreement that puts the city in a prime position to attract a Hilton Hotel in the Priority Development Area in the CBD.
In a coup for the city, the council has signed an MOU to negotiate exclusively with Hilton Hotels and Queensland development company Focus Pacific Pty Ltd to establish a 4.5 star hotel with the famous Hilton brand within the North Queensland Stadium Precinct.
The proposal includes a preliminary plan for a seven-storey Double Tree by Hilton Hotel with a 175 bed capacity.
Announcing the MOU today, Mayor Cr Jenny Hill and Deputy Mayor Cr Les Walker said attracting the world renowned Hilton name to the city would be a major win for the city’s profile and an important economic stimulus.
“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,” Cr Hill said.
“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.”
Deputy Mayor Cr Les Walker said attracting a international hotel group to the city had been high on council’s agenda.
“Everyone knows the Hilton name and having them here in the city right beside the new stadium in a world class precinct is an exciting prospect,” Cr Walker said.
“A Hilton Hotel would generate a huge amount of interest. Business people make judgements on our city and having a Hilton will do wonders for our status.”
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. “
Hilton is one of the largest hospitality companies in the world, with nearly 5,000 properties with more than 812,000 rooms in 103 countries and territories. In the nearly 100 years since its founding, the company has established a portfolio of 14 world-class brands, including its flagship Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand, which is the most recognized hotel brand in the world.
Hilton currently has a development pipeline of a further 332,00 rooms. Currently in the Australia / Pacific region Hilton presently operates 23 hotels under the Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton and Conrad hotel brands and has a development pipeline of 8 new hotels.