The controversial owner of the Port of Darwin, Chinese port and logistics operator Landbridge, has signed an agreement with the Northern Territory government to build a luxury hotel at the Darwin waterfront.
The construction of the $250 million hotel on a 2.9-hectare site will start next year and is scheduled to be completed by 2020.
Global hotel operator Starwood Hotels & Resorts will operate the hotel, under the Westin brand.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles said the hotel would be a “game changer” for the Top End.
“The agreement will deliver the government’s objective to meet unsatisfied demand for luxury accommodation in Darwin,” he said.
“The development is set to boost the economy, act as a drawcard for increased high-end business and leisure visitors, and give Darwin a significant edge in the lucrative business conference market.
“Commencement next year will surpass the government’s target three years early to build a $2.2 billion visitor economy by 2020.”
The hotel will be developed on a former Toga site, recently returned to government after 18 months of negotiation.
The government will also provide up to $10 million connecting services to the site and has also offered Landbridge an 18-month call option over an additional 1.5 hectares of the former Toga land.
The government will not contribute to the hotel’s operations.
“The luxury hotel development is expected to provide a significant economic boost and generate more than 500 jobs during the construction phase and hundreds of ongoing jobs when it opens,” Mr Giles said.
“It will be the anchor tenant to drive increased growth in Asian tourism to the Northern Territory.”
The over $500 million 99-year leasehold sale of the Port of Darwin to Landbridge last year drew the ire of the US government.
King & Wood Mallesons advised Landbridge on the hotel deal.