THE National Trust is said to be on the verge of signing up a new lessee for the increasingly derelict Royal George hotel in East Fremantle.
The Trust wouldn’t reveal the identity of the prospective tenant for the heritage-listed hotel, saying only that it’s “finalising leasing arrangements”.
But the Herald understands it’s a company linked to Sirona Capital boss Matthew McNeilly. Sirona is developing Kings Square, Queensgate and the Myer building in Fremantle’s CBD and a hotel in the city’s West End.
Mr McNeilly and former Myer building owner Luke Saraceni are on the board of Westbridge Property Group, the vehicle used to launch the West End hotel on the corner of Pakenham and Short streets before control of the project was handed over to Sirona.
The Royal George has long been touted as a “boutique” hotel opportunity but Mr McNeilly wasn’t giving out much about any plans.
“I’m unable to say anything,” was all he offered, other than to say “it’s not Sirona”.
On the Kings Square development, Mr McNeilly says the company is hopeful of making an announcement about an anchor tenant by Christmas after “doing a lot of work on this in the last three months”.
Other than that, everything is still on track, although he’d have loved for it to have progressed a little more quickly.
by STEVE GRANT