SilverNeedle Hospitality has started developing what will become the world’s first NEXT hotel.
The multimillion dollar project, which got underway this week, will see the Chifley at Lennons hotel in Brisbane transformed into a 300-room NEXT Hotel – the new brand designed to appeal to business travellers. The project will also completely revamp the Queen St Mall shopping precinct to form a new high-end retail area.
“We are very excited to be entering the construction phase for NEXT Brisbane. This project will bring many benefits to retailers, businesses, residents and visitors while providing much needed hotel rooms and food & beverage offerings in its iconic location,” said Iqbal Jumabhoy, SilverNeedle’s Managing Director & Group CEO.
SilverNeedle purchased the 150-room Chifley at Lennons hotel for AU$57 million (US$60m) in 2012, and the redevelopment project will be one of the Australia’s biggest in recent years, doubling the property’s room count. It is expected to reopen as a NEXT hotel in 2014, prior to the G20 Leaders Summit in November of that year.
Brisbane’s Mayor Graham Quirk expressed his support for the project. “Brisbane’s hotel industry has experienced strong trading conditions over a number of years and has the capacity for an additional 299-446 hotel rooms a year for the next 10 years to meet current and future demand,” he said. “This investment by SilverNeedle is a great step in the right direction to ensure the city can comfortably cater to the growing number of leisure and business tourists, as well accommodate the G20 Leaders Summit in 2014.”
SilverNeedle currently operates 67 properties in the Asia Pacific region under the Grand Chifley, Chifley, Australis, Country Comfort, and Sundowner brands along with a collection of independent boutique hotels.