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631 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Thought I would start a new thread for this one as this is a big, exciting and realistic project for good old Launnie - if it goes ahead this will be the city's tallest building.


Life of luxury planned for silos

By MATT MALONEY May 29, 2013, 10:24 p.m.

THESE are the plans for what is destined to be Launceston's newest multimillion-dollar hotel.

Developer Errol Stewart is the man behind the project that will see the Kings Wharf grain silos transformed into an 11-storey, 68-unit hotel with a bar, cafe, restaurant and conferencing rooms.

Artas Architects, the firm that redeveloped the old Launceston General Hospital into The Charles hotel and apartments, has been enlisted for the challenging project.

Director Scott Curran said the biggest challenges involved flood-proofing the hotel, as it sat on the wet side of the city's flood levees, and working within the old silo structure to bring it within current building standards.

He said maximising the silos structure as much as possible - unlike the Hobart silos project that involved substantial demolition - reduced project costs greatly, as well as retaining the building's character.

The project is predicted to cost between $11 million and $14 million.

``We have made a conscious decision to minimise elements added to the silos,'' Mr Curran said.

He said a spacious atrium would greet visitors at the hotel's entrance and give them a true sense of the silos.

From there, they would be transported to hotel reception by escalator.

The building extensions include a large promenade, decking for outdoor dining and two towers containing stairwells to ensure building compliance.

Plant equipment will be concealed in two existing towers found on the sides of the outer cylinders.

Mr Curran said the relationship between the existing flood levees, and the new one required, would evolve as the project did.

The new flood levee was proposed this year to involve a 150-metre concrete wall wrapped around the hotel's bottom floor wall, serving as both protective infrastructure and a concourse for hotel guests.


Stewart confident of silos hotel approval

By MATT MALONEY March 27, 2014, 1 a.m.

DEVELOPER Errol Stewart plans to lodge a development application for his silos hotel project in three weeks - so long as the Tasmanian Planning Commission approves a dispensation application to develop the riverside land.

The commission finished a two-day hearing on the proposed development yesterday and is expected to take between 10 to 14 days to either approve or reject the application.

Bunnings, which is building a superstore at the opposite end of Lindsay Street, had been the sole objector to the application but removed its objection a fortnight ago.

The $20 million hotel proposal is expected to be made up of 140 rooms; half contained within the existing silo barrels and half in a new rectangular building behind the structure on its Lindsay Street side.

There will be bar, restaurant and conference facilities contained within the buildings.

Mr Stewart described the hearing as positive and said he was well-supported by a detailed submission to the project by the Launceston City Council.

"It's not across the line yet but we are very confident that we will get across the line within a very short time frame," he said.

In the meantime, Mr Stewart said he was able to lodge a development application for earthworks, which he would do next week.

A flood wall to protect the hotel from potential river swells is halfway complete with piles and buttresses in place, awaiting concrete panels.

Mr Stewart said across the river, his Peppers Seaport Hotel - which will celebrate its 10th anniversary on April 1 - had recorded its best month on record, which he attributed to increased visitation to Launceston.


Will try and get some pics from Examiner website although it's not easy to grab them.

There's already been 6 or so articles on this project since early 2013.

631 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
A WIN News segment tonight announced construction has now started on this. Amazing how northern news doesn't make it south much as I hadn't even heard it was officially approved. Anyway, great news for Launceston.

Workers are apparently removing bolts and other items from the existing structure and in coming weeks door-size holes will be cut into the silos to remove the wheat smell. Expected construction timeline is 18 months.

There will be an amphitheater built next to the development as well as a pedestrian bridge linking the site with the Seaport and hence, the rest of the city.

Local, State and Federal Governments are all contributing to the project. Waiting to see some final plans. Will post once I come across them.

This will really open up a new part of the city and it is quite exciting - and that's something coming from a Hobartian!

Could we kindly get a moderator to change this thread to U/C?

631 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)

Two new articles.

One from today's Mercury and one from the Examiner:


Errol Stewart aims high with $16 million development for former silos on the edge of the Tamar River


DEVELOPER and motor dealer Errol Stewart denies a $16 million conversion of wheat silos into a hotel on the banks of the Tamar is his gutsiest development.

“I don’t think its any more gutsy than anything else I have done in my life,” he said.

Mr Stewart developed the $30 million Seaport on the North Esk river out of an old shipyard in 2004.

Then in 2008, with the expectation of a Bell Bay pulp mill that never came, he developed the $18 million York Cove at George Town.

“I think the Seaport was more gutsy. When we bought the Seaport 10 years ago we did 60 rooms on the inside of the flood levee,” he said.

“This is on the protected side of the levee so we have got an advantage there.”

The Labor state government spent $1.5 million building a flood levee in 2013.

The Silos development will comprise 79 rooms in the 38m high silos at a construction cost of about $200,000 a room.

He said he would be joined by some private investors and would sell some assets and get bank finance for about 50 per cent of the cost.

“It is great to see local bankers prepared to invest in a hotel where they wouldn’t a decade ago because they were concerned there wasn’t enough economic viability,” he said.

It will have a two function rooms, a restaurant, cafe and bars, gymnasium and underground car park.

Mr Stewart said Launceston needed some new tourism products and had a shortage of hotel rooms in summer.

“The Seaport hotel has 60 rooms and it operated at 92 per cent occupancy for the whole of March,” he said.

His hope is for increased tourism into the city as well as an increase in market share.

He said his building company JMC Construction would employ 30 people and 70 sub contractors on the site.


Plans revised for Silo Hotel | Photos, video
By ROSITA GALLASCH Sept. 22, 2014, 11:24 p.m.

MILLION-dollar views over Launceston and up the Tamar River await those with enough cash for a penthouse room at the Silo Hotel.

A development application for the $16 million, 79-room hotel, was submitted to Launceston City Council last week.

In a tour of the site yesterday, developer Errol Stewart showed aldermen, council staff and the Launceston Flood Authority’s Alan Birchmore and Andrew Fullard, the view from the top of the disused silos – 10 storeys up.

All going well, he hopes to begin work by the end of the year and be complete by the summer of 2016.

In early August, The Examiner reported that a potential cost blowout had seen Mr Stewart go back to the drawing board to revise his plan.

This will see 68 hotel rooms inside the silos and a further 11 in a separate structure on level one.

Each silo room will feature an enclosed balcony, while the 10th floor will have four premier suites that take up the whole circumference of each silo and have significantly larger balconies.

Level one will feature a cafe, restaurant, bar and lounge area.

While the ground floor will have a gym, two meeting rooms 100-square metres in size and a lounge.

The underground car park adjacent to this will double as a tradeshow centre.

Mr Stewart said he hoped to save a bit on the $16 million cost.

‘‘I’d like to think we can save a bit on that because obviously if you can save 10 per cent, you save $1.6 million, so it’s pretty substantial,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve got a top-end budget of $200,000 a room but we think we can do better than that with some savings on the way through.’’

Mr Stewart has also put in a request to council to demolish the neighbouring old woolstore, with the intention of using the timber trusses in the level one hotel rooms.

Some of the other large timber beams would be incorporated into the silo, so there remains a link of what the area was once used for he said.

‘‘We think that’s a really important element, that you’ll still see buildings that look like the old woolstore sitting in front of the silos,’’ he said.

Mr Stewart said he was confident about the sustainability of the hotel, even through the winter months and was looking at around a $200 a night room cost.


307 Posts
Really not a fan of the design architecturally, could have been soo much better. Silo conversion could be attractive but not like that IMO.

Don't understand why they even bother with the silos, it only adds a huge and stupid limitation to the internal and external design and the structure internals of them will basically have to be remodelled completely anyway because obviously silos are not built to be hotels.

It's almost like it's just used here to save some cost on the concrete.

1,032 Posts
Approval from Launceston City Council!

BTW - has anyone seen a height published anywhere?

THE Launceston City Council has approved the $16 million Silo Hotel development.

As one of the largest developments before the council in recent years, the matter came before five new aldermen at their first meeting since the declaration of the polls for the final sign-off.

An amended motion was put forward by new Alderman Emma Williams and seconded by Alderman Janie Finlay, and will now see improved street landscaping with trees to be planted in Lindsay Street with adequate irrigation and anti-vandalism measures, within three months of the hotel opening.

The JMC Silo Hotel project by developer Errol Stewart is for a 79-room hotel with a cafe, restaurant, bar and lounge area, gym, two meeting rooms and underground car park that could double as a trade show space. A pleasure boat cruise pontoon has been included in the plans.

Mr Stewart first revealed his plans for the disused silos in January 2013, with plans to buy the structure and 6000 square metres of surrounding land to develop a $10 million, 64-room hotel.

The project had various incarnations, including at one stage to build an adjacent building to house more rooms but, with fears of a significant cost blowout, it was scaled back to its original proposal.

Alderman Hugh McKenzie said it was a significant step for the council in approving the project and recognised the work of the council staff.

Mayor Albert van Zetten said the project would result in jobs in the construction phase, as well as once the hotel was operating.

Alderman Finlay sought clarification from general manager Robert Dobrzynski that approval of the hotel would not impact on a decision of the future of the adjacent old woolstore. Mr Dobrzynski said it would not and that matter would go back before the council on November 24.

Before the start of discussion on the matter, Alderman Jim Cox said that despite the possible concerns of some over a conflict of interest that he may have with the developer – who authorised his election posters – he had received advice from the Tasmanian Local Government Association that it wasn’t deemed as a significant conflict, and he remained in the chamber for the matter.

631 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
^^^^^ Thanks Chuq. No, I haven't seen any info on on height, nor have I seen any official plans.

I was up in sunny L Town on the weekend and got a few pics across the river from Seaport. It is obviously a very dull, ghostly area right now so having some infrastructure linking both shores and some people actually in the area is going to be great.

Bring it on!

4,845 Posts
Thanks for the pics Rover!

I agree it is a ghostly dead site - once built its going to be more like a standalone motel than an inner city hotel though.

1,032 Posts

Woolstore demolition progressing
By ROSITA GALLASCH March 11, 2015, 11:28 p.m.

DEMOLITION of the old woolstore at North Bank is well under way.

The developer of the neighbouring Silo Hotel, Errol Stewart, who sought the job from the Launceston City Council in return for some of the timbers to be featured in the hotel, said the work was about 20 per cent complete.

Asbestos in the building was removed in January and demolition works began last month.

The previous council approved the full demolition of the woolstore last October, just before the determination of the local government election.

A lack of community consultation on the decision angered some of the aldermen and members of the public.

Mr Stewart said yesterday that the job was much more laborious than he anticipated due to the number of nails that had to be removed from the timbers. He hoped to have the demolition completed by the end of April.

Meanwhile, pile driving at the Silo Hotel was also under way, with a total of 175 piles (135 timber and 40 steel) to go into the ground at the front and rear of the development.

He said he hoped to start pouring concrete at the site around the end of June.

Just across Lindsay Street, work on the new Officeworks site is expected to power ahead in coming weeks.

It is understood that Officeworks will take over the site to fit it out at the end of April or in early May.

PETStock and a large white goods/furniture retailer are understood to be moving into the remaining two spaces at the site.

Shepherd & Heap agent Ian Singline said he continued to receive interest on the remaining four commercial lots.

Boral, which is located in Lindsay Street, bought part of one of the lots in Gleadow Street, and in late January the council approved that lot to be zoned for manufacturing and processing.

The concrete company is yet to submit a development application to the council for its new site.

631 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I passed by this site yesterday. There isn't much happening to the silos themselves (on the outside anyway), but the Woolstore is completely demolished.

Not sure if the pile driver is really doing much at this stage.

Will get some photos next time I'm up there.

631 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Foundation work starting

I heard on the radio today that foundation work has now started.

Couldn't see any news articles but found this from September:

Stewart excited at nod for silo
By ERROL STEWART Sept. 25, 2015, 11:08 p.m..

LAUNCESTON entrepreneur Errol Stewart's multimillion-dollar Silo Hotel development could be completed within 18 months, after the Launceston City Council granted final building approval on Friday.

Mr Stewart said the approval was a major move forward for the project.

"It's exciting. I can say to my partners that are involved that we've got approval, which is a really important step," he said.

"Now we've got to deliver, we've got to get something built and get it done."

Mr Stewart said the first task would be demolition work of the lift shaft, which he hoped would be completed by November.

The JMC Silo Hotel project plan includes a 79-room hotel with a cafe, restaurant, bar and lounge area, gym, two meeting rooms and underground car park.

Mr Stewart said JMC would be seeking mainly local companies in their tender process.

"We'll go to tender on probably seven or eight or nine of the major components within the next two weeks," he said.

"We'll have those tenders completed by the end of October."

Mr Stewart said the company was also hoping to reduce some costs involved in the construction, and commended the Launceston City Council and the Tasmanian government for their support of the development.

I was in Launceston on the weekend but didn't get time to pass by to see the progress; hopefully next time.

And since when do developers write their own articles? :lol:

631 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Went up to Launceston this weekend and there's no external change to the silos. No point taking any photo!

Hopefully by next visit there'll be some more obvious progress.

1,032 Posts
Updated design. Unfortunately the height has decreased:

Silos Hotel plans revamped By COREY MARTIN
Jan. 16, 2016, 9:26 p.m.

PLANS for Errol Stewart’s Launceston Silos Hotel have changed, with the proposed revamp only seven storeys high.

A fresh development application before the Launceston City Council for the Invermay site in Lindsay Street shows that the hotel will now be seven storeys, have 108 rooms and cost $20 million.

This is up from 79 rooms and $17 million but down from the 11-storey project that was originally planned.

‘‘It is a pretty major change from where we were and what we presented to the planning commission a year ago because we didn’t think we could hold it up,’’ Mr Stewart said.

‘‘But the initial drop piling we did in June last year gave us the confidence that we could hold up a heavier building on the north side of the silos. Primarily the reason we are doing it is to get more rooms and to make it more cost-effective. The application is for 114 rooms but with some changes yesterday [Friday] we are going to end up with 108 rooms.

‘‘One of the really big costs of 11 storeys is sprinkling the whole building once you go over 25 metres, so 25 metres will now be the highest floor and not 35 metres.’’

Mr Stewart said work would restart next week on stabilising the ground, with 75 more piles to be inserted.

He said about $4 million had been redirected by lowering the number of levels, reducing the number of fire sprinklers and pulling various other expenses into more rooms on the North side.

‘‘Nothing much else has really changed. We get a little more retail space downstairs perhaps — the building isn’t as big on the first floor, but it is bigger from the second to the seventh.’’

Mr Stewart said the project should be complete in 18 months.

The hotel will include an ancillary gym, cafe, bar and restaurant, meeting rooms, deck, Tamar River boating access and more than 90 car park spaces.

A traffic report by GHD into the hotel’s likely traffic implications suggests overall about 100 in and outbound movements during the morning peak hour and the same number in the evening.

The report said the hotel was unlikely to cause ‘‘significant loss in performance’’ of the Goderich and Lindsay street intersection with ‘‘delays increasing slightly in all peaks’’.

14 Posts
I always thought the best approach to building around the levees in Launceston was to incorporate the levees into the building, like what happens in older cities around the world, rather than free standing elements they are now. Imagine replacing the levees on the south side of the North Esk along the Esplanade with a long spine building of shops and apartments? Can’t really see them doing that in this development it’s pretty unadventurous.

631 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Went to Launceston last weekend and dropped by to check progress:

I'm glad I got so close because I now understand the timeframe to get to this stage, with the demolition of the old buildings and the build of the flood wall. Looks like plenty of landscaping's happened to infill the pathway to the new wall.

The silos look hollow now so hopefully some more obvious progress is about to start (as I always say - this time hopefully I'm right).

1,032 Posts
With all the images and video (particularly drone footage) of Launceston and the Tamar over the past few days, it has really helped to emphasise the scale, location and potential of this development!
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