A $16 million riverside serviced apartment development has been proposed to cater exclusively for fly-in, fly-out mining workers in a first for Perth which could ease pressure on the city's hotels.
The 241 room short-stay project would be built on Great Eastern Highway, Ascot, less than 2km from Perth Airport's domestic terminal.
Developer Demol Investments aims to house up to 375 workers in two blocks of six and 10 storeys, to be joined by a lobby, lounge and outdoor terrace with views of the Swan River.
In plans before the Metro Central Joint Development Assessment Panel, the project is touted as "a new concept for Perth", with the expectation that rooms would be pre-booked by resources companies for their staff. The City of Belmont referred the proposal to the independent assessment panel because of the size of the project.
The company is planning other commercial developments on the 1ha site, but said this would not take place until after upgrades to the highway were finished.
Planners Greg Rowe and Associates, commissioned by Demol, said the building would provide a landmark at the eastern gateway to the City of Belmont. They said it would not have any detrimental impact on the Swan River.
"The serviced apartments are initially intended to meet demand from the WA resources sector, with the accommodation utilised by FIFO employees travelling between home and remote work sites," documents submitted to the City of Belmont say. The site's proximity to the airport and Swan River meant it could also be well-placed to meet demand from the tourism market in the longer term.
The apartments would employ about 10 staff for catering, reception and administration. The development would feature dining and laundry facilities, guest lounges and a roof-top garden.
The plans for FIFO-only accommodation could help address the dire shortage of hotel beds in Perth, where the occupancy rate reached 86.2 per cent in the March quarter.
Tourism Council WA chief executive Evan Hall welcomed the proposal but said it was mining executives, rather than FIFO workers, who used Perth hotel rooms.
"Any short-term accommodation, that is not available for residential purposes, between the CBD and the airport would be extremely welcome," he said.
The City of Belmont recommended the proposal be approved subject to conditions but raised concerns about its appearance. "The facades are not considered to achieve a high architectural design standard appropriate for a landmark site," a council report said.
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