Hotel Australasia heads back out to market

Following the news Irisha and Rubycove would not be proceeding with the purchase of 142-144 Imlay St, (former Hotel Australasia), the company has since made contact with mayor Kristy McBain seeking to restart negotiations. 

The move was flagged in the Eden Magnet’s front page story, August 2, with Irisha project manager Simon Petzierides saying that while he and his fellow partners were “gutted”, they were open to further negotiations.

“If people want to get serious we’re more than happy to talk, but it needs to be a meeting with council, councillors, planners, tourism and community groups all present and on the same page. There is absolutely no need for anybody to have a hidden agenda,” Mr Petzierides told the Magnet.

But council staff have said it would place council in a difficult situation having already acted on the formal advice provided by the legal representatives of Irisha and Rubycove that the company wanted to withdraw from negotiations.

The matter of the hotel and its future was discussed at Wednesday afternoon’s council meeting with staff recommending that council accept email correspondence from Irisha and Rubycove outlining they will not be proceeding with the purchase

Councillors voted to put the hotel out to three Eden real estate agents in Eden - they will produce detailed marketing plans including costings, commissions and expenses, which will come back to council before any further decision to sell.

The move wasn’t unanimously agreed upon, with Crs Cathy Griff, Liz Seckold, Sharon Tapscott and Jo Dodds voting against it.

It is believed that Eden’s Australasia, the group of local people advocating for the restoration of the hotel and particularly the facade, is contacting anyone who has shown interest in the past.

The hotel is heritage listed and like many old properties is not without problems. The Magnet understands there are high voltage power lines running along Imlay St directly in front of the building. 

A spokesman for Essential Energy confirmed when working near overhead powerlines it is a Safework NSW requirement to maintain a minimum safe working distance of three metres.

The spokesman said that if, for example, aluminium scaffolding was being used, it must be installed a minimum of four metres from overhead powerlines. This could mean a developer would be forced to locate the powerlines underground in order to carry out any significant work.

“Should the owner/developer wish to relocate the existing overhead power lines to underground, the work would need to be designed and constructed by an accredited service provider,” the spokesman added.