INDONESIA’S Halim Group is pressing ahead with the redevelopment of Melbourne’s Hotel Windsor. It will spend $325 million expanding the hotel’s rooms by more than one hundred in one of the nation’s largest hotel re-construction projects.
After years of council wrangling, Heritage Victoria recently approved new interior designs for the hotel, billed as Australia’s oldest grand hotel.
Under the plan, a 150-room tower of hotel suites will be built behind the original Hotel Windsor, the north wing - built in 1960 - will be redesigned and the existing rooms in the oldest part of the hotel will be expanded from a minimum of 21sq m to at least 43sq m.
Construction is expected to take up to three years and could see the property, fronting Melbourne’s Spring Street, closed for short periods, said the hotel’s managing director, David Perry.
Construction is expected to start in November. However, a builder was yet to be appointed, Mr Perry said.
VCAT has refused a second extension of time for the Windsor Redevelopment. If Halim Group do not commence construction by 15 January 2015 the permit will expire.
So this development will start soon or will never be built.
this one is progressing behind the scenes, announcement imminent
Works to start in December
will be interesting to see what they do to 'start' devleopment before 15 January.
The definition of development includes demolition :-)
In Melbourne, the redevelopment of the dowager 180-room Windsor Hotel is far more ambitious given the Halim Group’s plans to increase the size of the hotel, adding at least 100 more rooms.
A Halim Group spokesman said obtaining planning and heritage permits for the redevelopment of Australia’s last remaining grand heritage hotel, which was built in 1883 and is older than other world hotel icons such as Singapore’s Raffles Hotel, had taken six years. “Early works will start in December,” he said.
Once renovated, which is expected to take at least 30 months, the five-star hotel will have 281 large rooms.
The Windsor is expected to trade through most of next year during the early works.
“The whole idea of the hotel redevelopment is to make it a really world-class hotel for service, luxury and facilities,” said the spokesman.
‘‘It was one of the world’s best hotels in the Victorian era.”
Well, if the current development does commence, at least the tower component can be knocked down in 30 years or so and the building more sympathetically adapted and restored, I suppose.
not sure if this counts as 'starting work' but this is up on the north-west corner of the building. you can see the wood cover-over above head height which is a hole in the wall they seemed to be knocking through a week or two back. The wallis and ed event space still has chairs etc. in it though so have to wonder what they're actually achieving wiht this work atm? (aside from 'starting work' to meet the permit conditions)
Grand hotel haunted for Labor
The redevelopment of the heritage-listed Windsor Hotel, an issue that damaged the Brumby Labor government four years ago, has returned to haunt the Andrews administration, with the hotel developer conceding it will not complete the $330 million revamp before the legal deadline of January 2017.
It is now likely the new Labor government will be asked to grant a special extension of time to complete the project, including a 93-metre tower to the rear of the hotel, slammed by former planning minister turned opposition leader Matthew Guy as a "disgrace" and a "scar" on Melbourne's heritage.
The government also faces an uncomfortable decision in mid 2015 on whether to support a strict height limit on the Windsor site of just 23 metres, after Mr Guy last year imposed a temporary limit subject to a review.
Shortly before Christmas the owner/developer, the Halim group, erected a sign to mark the belated start to the overhaul of the hotel once known as the Duchess of Spring Street.
Halim Group spokesman Michael Smith said his client was forced to begin 'early works' to meet the planning permit condition that the redevelopment start by January 10, 2015.
He said the early works would include creating access to allow removal of hazardous material from the 1960s-era northern wing on the Bourke Street corner, the location for some years of the Hard Rock Cafe. Demolition of the Bourke Street corner building would follow at a later stage.
However the bulk of the redevelopment, including the Denton Corker Marshall-designed 26-level tower and refurbishment of the 19th century hotel interior, is some time off, with detailed planning and design incomplete, finance not in place, and no major builder contracted.
they could have at least referenced me!
Big news - the the minister has rejected the permit extension for the Windsor. It's all over, folks:
This is what happens when government becomes inflexible, mark my words, we will loose this grand old lady and we all know who to point our finger at, The real constant of the universe is change and if we don't guide its direction, then I have no wish to reside in such mayhem.
There are dozens of boutique hotels all over the inner city that are able to turn a profit. Halim's ineptitude in running a successful business has little to do with whether the Windsor can rise again as a high-end (or even not so high end) boutique hotel. The fact that they couldn't secure finance for their proposed tower / "renovation" (i.e. gutting of the historic interior structure of the Windsor) is also testament to the questionable profitability of the proposed project for its hotel business. So, how is it a bad thing if this company isn't the proprietor of the Windsor post-2015? And, into the bargain, the height controls are now signed into law, so the tower can also be consigned to the file of zany, "What were they thinking" unbuilt projects of Melbourne's past.
Sell the hotel to a new owner or start construction, it isn't like they'd refuse to extend the permit once major work was underway, the government would get the blame for letting the building sit unfinished and putting people out of work.
Just the owners having a public sook because nobody wants to invest in the new tower. Sell the hotel if you can't make the costs work to keep running it without the tower, I'm sure the new owner would like an approved permit that runs to the end of 2017 which they can then get started on something.
Yes - sounds like they've sat on their thumbs are now throwing around threats to hold the govt to ransom. Jog on, guys. Let someone else make this work.
A Wynne for the Windsor sends its owners packing
One of the last of the grand hotels of the nineteenth century still standing, Melbourne's Windsor Hotel, has been saved from radical redevelopment, courtesy of a ministerial decree.
Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne's refusal extend a planning permit beyond its expiry in early 2017 all but kills off the hotel owner's hopes for executing a $330 million revamp in time.
But a win for heritage may be the last straw for the hotel's Indonesian owners, the Halim Group, who have said they will shut the doors if the redevelopment does not go ahead.
The proposed refurbishment, adding 100 new rooms and a new glass tower rising 93 metres at the rear of the imperious hotel, has been dogged by controversy from its first conception more than six years ago.
So now it could sink entirely because the owners couldn't run it properly. Good work.
The state government has already owned the Windsor Hotel after buying it in 1976 after it had become uneconomical and was threatened with demolition.
The Oberoi Group then bought the hotel in 1990. in 2002 they wanted to refurbish the hotel without major additions but they could not get the figures to stack up so they sold it in 2005.
This is a very large heritage building that requires a massive investment to bring it up to modern standards. The investment required is far too great to run it as a small boutique hotel.
If the current development does not go ahead it will be converted into apartments.
What a waste of a great building. Any wealthy Chinese or locals up for trying to make it turn a profit again?
Would prefer to not see it turned into apartments.
What a load of trash. Like others have said, even if they started building now it's not like dick would just make them stop with a half-built project sitting there.
All difficulty in permits aside, it doesn't seem like any initiave was shown to actually get this off the ground.
Windsor Hotel tower battle back on as owners appeal
A last-ditch bid to prevent the closure of Melbourne's Windsor Hotel has been made to Victoria's planning tribunal by the owners of the 19th-century building.
The Halim Group says it will have to shut the historic hotel because of a state government decision not to grant the company an extension to its permit to build a 26-storey tower at the building's rear.
On Monday the developer confirmed reports it was seeking a review of the decision at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The appeal is being made on the grounds that large builders approached to work on the $330 million redevelopment believe it is "impossible" to complete the works by January 2017, when the planning permit runs out.
In a letter submitted to VCAT, contractor Brookfield Multiplex said a realistic construction period was about three years, meaning the project would not be finished until at least August 2018.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/windsor-hotel-tower-battle-back-on-as-...
Victoria, Halim Group in talks to save Melbourne’s Hotel Windsor
A fresh attempt to save Melbourne’s dowager hotel The Windsor from demolition will be made on December 1.
The hotel’s Indonesian owner, the Halim Group, has agreed to attend a mediation session with the Victorian government in a bid to break the impasse over the hotel’s future.
The group bought the hotel 10 years ago for $38 million and has spent $16m maintaining it.
It wants a planning permit extension for the redevelopment of the 19th-century hotel.
If the dispute is not settled on December 1, the case will move to a full Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearing in February.
In July, Victorian Planning Minister Dick Wynne rejected the Halim Group’s plea for a permit extension, saying the Indonesians could have built a proposed tower behind the Windsor at any time since 2010.
Yesterday, Halim Group boss Adi Halim said this claim was “factually wrong” because the group did not have sufficient permissions from various government bodies in order to start the redevelopment.
“We have since advised him (Mr Wynne) that the 2010 planning permit was only the beginning of the permissions process and we needed multiple permits from Heritage Victoria, including a number of permits and sign off for the interior, before we could even develop the design and progress to draw up construction documentation,” Mr Halim said.
Mr Halim said his group was funding $100m of the $330m redevelopment.
He said the government was concerned his company was “warehousing” the project.
He has since offered milestones including signing a construction contract within four months of a permit extension, and said he would begin demolition of the north building within 12 months of a permit extension.
As part of the redevelopment deal, the Halim Group wants to build a 27-level tower designed by Denton Corker Marshall.
The Halim Group says Melbourne needs more luxury accommodation.