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Shortlist of developers selected for quayside hotel project 21 September 2005

    THE shortlist has been announced of five developers who have been selected for the opportunity to re-develop the landmark quayside site in Douglas as a prestigious new hotel.

    Tourism Minister David Cretney said: ‘We were absolutely delighted with the selection of international, British and Manx developers who submitted a wide variety of exciting alternatives for the site. Submissions were supported by some of the most recognisable quality hotel brands in the world, hence the consultants Drivers Jonas had a very hard task to reduce it and finally recommended a shortlist of five.

    ‘Drivers Jonas are independent experts in this field. The companies they selected all exceeded the pre-determined brief and have proven track records in development, regeneration, scheme delivery and international hotel operation.’

    Mr Cretney continued: ‘The shortlist was arrived at by a strict scoring system which looked at all aspects of each submission, such as the ability to significantly increase four or five star hotel bed spaces, a proven track record of quality hotel development, the company’s previous experience of urban regeneration especially of harbours or quayside areas, plus those who have worked with top notch partners on such developments, and finally their ability to drive substantial quality improvements in the local market. Although not a prerequisite at this time, three of those shortlisted also supplied details of their preferred hotel group partner, although I must stress these are not cast in stone.’

    The shortlisted companies interested in developing the former bus station site between North Quay and Lord Street in Douglas include two Isle of Man based developers and three from the UK.

    Included on the list is David McLean Developments, one of UK’s top hotel developers whose preferred partner at this point is Radisson SAS. In the last 12 months their developments include Ramada Plaza Wrexham, Radisson SAS Nottingham, Park Plaza Leeds – plus they have been involved in major regeneration projects in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds.

    Another is Askett Hawk Developments which has a strong track record in hotel development and consulting and, whilst no specified operator is identified at present, their previous clients include Hilton, Renaissance and Hyatt. They are currently involved in a major development adjacent to Bournemouth Conference centre. They have an excellent track record in delivering quality mixed use and regeneration schemes.

    Local property development company Dandara Limited has submitted a joint proposal with top quality hotel operator Radisson Edwardian identified as their preferred partner at this time. Dandara have extensive on-Island development experience with significant development and regeneration experience.

    A company which has won numerous awards for its excellent regeneration record, CTP Limited, has also made the shortlist. Although no operator was identified in their submission, their track record includes completing seven large scale mixed-use schemes which have included hotels, cinemas, bars, restaurants, health clubs, etc.

    The list is completed by local company Burnbrae – a quality local hotel operator with a proven track record of hotel operation in Sleepwell Hotels. They already operate Claremont, Rutland, Chesterhouse and Regal hotels. This submission is part of their strategy to develop a flagship quality hotel on the Island, although they have aspirations to take this quality format further afield.

    Department of Tourism Chief Executive Carol Glover commented: ‘All short-listed companies have been informed, and they have eight weeks in which to produce detailed submissions. It is likely that the two most attractive options, measured against already determined criteria, will be selected from these submissions by Drivers Jonas and presented to the Council of Ministers for final approval.

    ‘The regeneration of the bus station site as a landmark quayside hotel development comes at a significant point in the history of the Isle of Man’s visitor industry. We are aware that demand is exceeding availability of top quality hotel accommodation, and this development will help us to meet that demand and grow high value visitor business as well as contributing to the Quality of Life of all of us.’

    It is hoped that the final selection of the quayside hotel developer will be confirmed by the Council of Ministers before Christmas.

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