The five-storey, four-and-a-half star hotel development proposed at properties on Flinders Parade received the support of the City of Victor Harbor's Independent Council Assessment Panel (CAP) on Tuesday, November 12.
The $40 million development and multi-storey car park, which will be located on council-owned land on McKinlay Street has moved one step closer to realisation and The Anchorage's owner, Phillips Land Co, said the CAP decision "takes the uncertainty out of the project".
"The next step for us is building certification and addressing the conditions of the approval," Phillips Land Co CEO Greg Phillips said.
The conditions include more details on the materials to be used for the footbridge, which will connect the car park with the hotel and more detail on the finish of the north south walls of the car park building.
CAP members Phil Smith, Don Donaldson, Stephen Hamnett and Judith Urquhart all supported the application, along with City of Victor Harbor's elected member on the panel Peter Charles. Mr Smith said "the land use called out for this kind of development" and it was "a landmark site that warrants greater flexibility".
Stephen Hamnett said it was a "well-designed building and the relationship with the development and the historic part of The Anchorage is well-handled".
Judith Urquhart said she supported the recommendation to approve the development, but "construction details of the footbridge need to be addressed".
Under the proposal, The Anchorage heritage building is to receive a $2.5 million restoration, while a new 126-room hotel is proposed on floors one to four, with the existing pine tree retained. The Anchorage is a State Heritage Listed building and the upgrade will be undertaken through heritage guidelines.
The hotel will include a 400 seat function centre on the fifth floor and five penthouse apartments. Included in the project is a $5 million investment in the car park at McKinlay Street.
City of Victor Harbor CEO Victoria MacKirdy said the approval continued to build economic momentum in Victor Harbor. "We have a visionary council and this development is extremely exciting for the City," Ms MacKirdy said.
Business Victor Harbor said the development will create confidence in the region.
The development application was lodged at the City of Victor Harbor on Thursday, June 27. CEO Greg Phillips said after nearly three years of planning and business modelling, International Hotel Operator Wyndham Group has been awarded the Hotel Management Contract.
"Wyndham is the largest hotel operator in the world, operating 9000 hotels in 80 countries, as well as a global loyalty rewards program for their guests which has 59 million members. Wyndham regard Victor Harbor as a destination hub for Fleurieu tourism operators," Mr Phillips said.
A 266 space multi level car park is proposed by the developer on council land, of which, 89 spaces would be dedicated to the Hotel. Mr Phillips said it was intended that council own and operate the car park. Also proposed is an elevated footbridge over the SteamRanger precinct to connect the car park to the Hotel.
"The whole project does not work without the car parking, so we are proposing to build a car park on council land for nothing, so 89 car parks can be leased back to the Hotel," Mr Phillips said.
"Council will receive approximately 100 more car parking spaces than they currently have at the McKinlay Street car park for public use.
"We believe this development will be a game changer for the region and along with recent government funding for key local projects, this major private investment showcasing Victor Harbor to the international travel community will go a long way to underwriting future growth in jobs and the economy of the town and the Fleurieu region."
City of Victor Harbor Mayor Moira Jenkins has had a catchphrase "Victor Harbor is open for business" after state government funding for the Causeway ($20 million), Mainstreet Precinct upgrade ($1 million), Crozier Road/Torrens Street roundabout ($1 million) and an overtaking lane on Victor Harbor/Adelaide Road and now the Anchorage development application further supports her claim.
"This sends a clear message that we are open for business," Dr Jenkins said.
"People have been asking about how to address the empty shops in Ocean Street and the lack of jobs on the South Coast. Investment such as this provides significant opportunity for a wide range of jobs both during and after the build. These jobs address youth unemployment and include traineeships, apprenticeships and long term employment that is not just seasonally based. That can only be a good thing for our youth and families in Victor Harbor."
"Furthermore, the flow on jobs and opportunities for the small business and entrepreneurs in our city will result in more cafes, restaurants and tourism opportunities as a result of increased tourist numbers."
Business Victor Harbor chair Nick Gormley said the development was a game changer, not just for Victor, but for the South Coast.
"To have a 40 million dollar invest by a world renowned brand shows how much potential we have. It will have flow on benefits to all businesses in Victor Harbor and open up markets that are currently not visiting us," Mr Gormley said.
Mr Phillips said economic modelling indicated the development will create 217 local and regional jobs during construction and 112 local and regional jobs during the operational phase. "A spin off of $12.4 million per annum into the regional economy is estimated".
"This is especially good news for local young employees seeking a career in tourism and hospitality with a global firm."
"The Wyndham group has the ability to reach into markets we can only dream of and with experiences such as McLaren Vale, the South Coast, Coorong, whale watching and Kangaroo Island, Victor Harbor will be the destination where visitors will stay and spend. They will stay not just for one day, but between three to 10 night," Mr Phillips said.