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North Terrace Quest hotel development approved

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UPDATED: A 17-storey Quest hotel and apartment development has been approved for North Terrace and will incorporate an existing art deco building – but the SA Hotels Association has questioned the potential for such developments to get off the ground while interstate and overseas travel remains in limbo.

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South Australian construction company Byld was last week given approval from the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) to develop a 67-metre mixed-use building at the site of the two-storey Art Deco Matters Building at 100 North Terrace.

In consultation with the Government Architect, the new development will maintain the original façade, with the Quest hotel seeking to “retain and draw inspiration” from the current building.

While the current Metters building is not heritage listed, the 1920s property does contribute to the quality of the North Terrace streetscape and public realm, the papers said.

The proposed development to be built on the 688 sqm block is set to include 127 studio, one-bedroom and dual key rooms from levels two to 15, as well as ground-level shops, a gym on level one, and two three-bedroom residential penthouse apartments.

Located opposite the Adelaide Convention Centre between the Oaks Embassy and Oaks Horizon hotels, the new build would also join the Stamford Plaza, The Playford and InterContinental on North Terrace adjacent to the developing Riverbank Precinct.

The proposal is the latest in an influx of recent hotel developments in the city, including the Hyatt Regency Adelaide and the Adelaide Oval Hotel.

It follows an estimation by the Australian Hotels Association last year forecasting about 4000 new hotel rooms to be built in Adelaide by 2024.

But South Australian AHA CEO Ian Horne told InDaily he expected city developments to slow down in the coming months.

“It’s not until they dig a hole in the ground that you know it’s going to be built,” Horne said.

“I suspect that many developers and many financiers and hotel chains will be taking a step back to watch the next five and 10 years look like.

“Those that have been committed, like the Sofitel, the Crown Plaza, the Hotel Indigo, the Casino, they had no choice. They were in the middle of building so they have to complete the product.”

Horne said while Adelaide could be considered a safer place to invest than other parts of the world, Australia’s reliance on air transport may prevent developers from progressing to construction.

“We need the borders to be relaxed. Victoria is our single biggest source of domestic visitors. We earned over $1 billion from visitors choosing to come to Adelaide for their holidays or business trips or leisure time,” he said.

“Just last week with that State of Origin game between Queensland and New South Wales we had nearly 4500 people from the east coast specifically came to Adelaide to watch the Rugby Union, and it was at half capacity. So, I think that’s the key to the future.”

Horne said more would need to be done to stimulate the local economy and keep hotel rooms full, describing the Marshall Government’s $100 travel vouchers as “enormously successful”.

“Some 22,000 of them were used and my sense is that the government will continue wanting to do that, particularly as we go forward and there is no clear way of looking at what the future holds,” he said.

The vouchers were offered to South Australians in October to use to towards accommodation across the state in a bid to stimulate the economy. The Government estimated the scheme to cost $4 million.

Byld declined to comment.

Correction: The earlier version of this article implied that the entire building would be demolished, but the façade will be retained.

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