Major hotel projects in limbo

Probuild points finger at AU government’s hardline approach

The future of Ritz-Carlton Melbourne, the W Sydney Hotel and Brisbane’s super-lux 443 Queen St apartment complex is now in limbo as work grinds to a halt following the collapse of construction giant Probuild.

Deloitte has been appointed as administrator to handle the fallout from the collapse which has impacted 18 major commercial and public-sector projects in development across the country – 13 projects in Victoria, three in New South Wales, one in Queensland and one in Western Australia.

Intended for opening later this year, the Ritz-Carlton Melbourne forms part of the huge West Side Place development at 250 Spencer Street.

The first stage of the project includes two towers comprising 1376 apartments and 263 hotel rooms which, when finished, would see the Ritz-Carlton at 270m high in place as the tallest hotel in the southern hemisphere .

Also on schedule for a Q3 2022 opening, the W Sydney Hotel Sydney forms part of The Ribbon, a $1 billion accommodation and entertainment complex to be opened in Darling Harbour.

Features of the stalled property include 593 stylish guestrooms, suites and serviced apartments, an iconic pool deck, restaurant, two bars, a spa, a state-of-the-art gym, and 925 square metres of event space incorporating a grand ballroom.

The 443 Queen St project in Brisbane features 264 luxury residential apartments and was also expected to welcome residents later this year.

In a statement, Probuild’s parent company WBHO has blamed the Australian government’s “hardline approach” to managing the COVID-19 pandemic for the collapse, citing border restrictions, snap lockdowns and working from home regulations as detrimental factors.

“The impact of lockdown restrictions on the retail, hotel and leisure and commercial office sectors of building markets have created high levels of business uncertainty in Australia and have significantly reduced demand and delayed the award of new projects in these key sectors of the construction industry,” the statement read.

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