Developers keen to build first six star hotel in Cairns
THE first six-star hotel in Cairns is earmarked for the city’s Central Business District

Developer and
CBD property investor Frank Gasparin told The Weekend Post he
was in negotiations with a Singaporean hotel operator to build the hotel. “We
are looking at a six-star hotel. They want one site and naming rights over the
rest of the sites,” he said. Mr Gasparin and his partner Peter James earlier this year revealed plans for three highrise residential
, called C3 and worth $550 million, in Sheridan St opposite
the city’s convention centre. The project includes one 24-storey and two
23-level towers.

He said the Singaporean-based hotel group –
which he would not name – was interested in a six-star hotel with naming rights
over the other two residential towers. “I want to make it happen. It’s a global
brand, mainly in Asia, China and Singapore,” Mr Gasparin said.

Singaporean brands considered as six stars include Raffles, the Ritz-Carlton
Millenia, Four Seasons, St Regis and Marina Bay Sands. The partners are hoping
to start the first tower late next year or in 2017. Mr Gasparin said approval
of the $8.15 billion Aquis Great Barrier Reef Resort at Yorkeys Knob – which
also includes a six-star hotel – would help give the project certainty and
confidence. “When Aquis happens, things will speed up,” he said.

development application is being considered by the Cairns Regional Council. A
council spokeswoman said the development application was lodged in April and a
request for further information was issued in June. “A response to that request
was received on November 6 and is now being assessed,” she said.

Mr James said
the developers had responded to the information request and were in discussions
with the council to resolve any outstanding issues so the project could proceed
to approval as soon as possible. Mr Gasparin said the towers were mainly
designed for residential apartments as well as ground-floor retail and some
commercial aspects, but they were open to other uses, such as a hotel and a
university. Mr James said the aim was to transform the southern end of Cairns’
CBD into “a new premium precinct”.

He said the
design, by Cairns architects Roger Mainwood and Carlo Amerio, comprised 796
apartments, street-level retail, podium-level recreational areas and rooftop
terraces for residents and guests. “C3 will provide a much-needed boost to
residential and tourism accommodation, close to the convention centre, the Reef
Fleet Terminal and Marlin Marina and the Esplanade,” Mr James said.