The consortium which picked up the waterfront Cowes site that for decades accommodated the Isle of Wight, has unveiled details of the first stage of a redevelopment.
Earmarked for the piece of the Esplanade block where the pub once stood, the proposed first building will be a hospitality venue, with 160 suites, ground floor restaurants, event spaces, a wellness centre and pool with a large deck (artist’s impression, top).
Colonial Leisure Group, owned by Computershare co-founder and hotelier, Chris Morris, will manage it; the operator also controls the Portsea Hotel and a swag of Melbourne venues including Prahran’s Lucky Coq and Albert Park Hotel.
“We’re excited to work with the community and council in bringing about a new era for tourism on the island, and raising the bar for what people can expect from accommodation, dining and entertainment in regional Victoria,” CLG chief executive officer, Tim Fitzgerald, said.
Building could be complete in 2025.
Hotel and event space
The Phillip Island property was purchased for $11m in January, 2019, by a syndicate comprising Moda, Salta Capital and Mazen Tabet – the latter who also holds a significant hotel portfolio (story continues below).
The former property on the site, a pub built in 1925, was destroyed by fire in 2010 – shortly after a now lapsed permit to replace the block with a nine storey hospitality asset was approved.
Covering 8625 square metres also with frontage to Bass St, the holding is longer term expected to make way for high density residential and retail – two sectors some local agents say is already oversupplied and with high vacancy.
The proposed CLG hotel is penned by Alexander & Co, responsible for the Burleigh Pavilion, Manly Wharf Bar and Imperial Hotel.
“The Isle of Wight was an icon of Cowes for many decades,” Moda managing director, Ed Farquharson, said.
“We’re looking forward to capturing the nostalgia and spirit of the original hotel and bringing it back to life with new energy for a while new generation,” he added.
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