Eden hotel group still fighting to save the hotel

Ahead of council framing the assessment criteria for an open tender for Eden’s Hotel Australasia, one of the groups who submitted an Expression of Interest has suggested their proposal should be used as a guideline.

Five local groups responded to the request for EoIs including Eden’s Australasia, the group dedicated to restoring the hotel. President Peter Whiter said their EoI contained valid points council should consider when drawing up a tender.

He points to the value of the laneway at the side of the hotel which would provide access from the main street to the car park at the rear of the hotel and highlights the additional 54 car parking places at the back of the hotel which he believes should be added to the public car parking area.

“The shire has already minuted a decision to increase car parking in Eden and in the centre of town. Council now owns a property that provides 54 car parking spaces that are already sealed. Car parking spaces have a value of around $10,000 making this area alone worth the money that it cost to buy the entire property and the existing toilets at the back of the property could also be used as public toilets,” Mr Whiter said.

“With the car parking value of $540,000, a laneway worth around $200,000 and public toilets, the property is of greater value to council than the money it might fetch by selling it. Our EoI shows where the value is in this property,” Mr Whiter said.

He said that there would come a time when the cruise ship buses and coaches would no longer be able to park in the main street because there wasn’t enough room and additional car parking behind the Australasia would provide a safe drop off and pick up point.

Council bought the Australasia for $550,000 and agreed to spend up to $450,000 but councillors later decided to invite EoIs. The question now of whether to go to open or closed (just the five EoI respondents) tenders was the subject of an extraordinary council meeting in January where it was agreed to go for open tender. Council’s challenge now is to select how it frames the assessment criteria for an open tender.