A major redevelopment, in the order of $40 million, will sit on the doorstep of the Penny Royal.
Developer and entrepreneur Josef Chromy and JAC Group managing director Dean Cocker announced they had bought and had plans for the TRC site on Friday.
“We are going to convert a substantial part of the site initially for car parking and get the tram running from Penny Royal to the windmill so that people who park there will be able to get to the Penny Royal,” Mr Cocker said.
“But there is a bigger vision and we have given ourselves a year to work up the actual designs for a hotel, that would have in excess of 100 rooms, as well as a conference facility with possibly up to 500 capacity. And what we would like to do is link that all in with the Penny Royal so that we can attract a lot more conferences and events and tourism into Launceston.”
All of the waterfront of Launceston would be linked and provide a seamless experience for tourists and locals.Dean Cocker
Exact details of the project are to be completed, but the hotel could be six or seven storeys. The TRC will be leased to the vendor over the next year while the design, size and planning issues are discussed with council, but the overall development is expected to take between three to five years.
Mr Cocker said he and Mr Chromy plan is to make the Tamar Basin complement Errol Stewart's Silo Hotel project at North Bank and connect to the Seaport.
“We’d like to get that tram not only linking from Penny Royal to the Windmill and TRC, but also to run it down Park Street so it would link to the Seaport, so the whole Tamar Basin, all of the waterfront of Launceston would be linked and provide a seamless experience for tourists and locals,” he said.
Mr Chromy said his planned gondola project into the Gorge would also add to Northern Tasmania’s overall appeal. “We are all the time working for what’s good for tourists because the future for Tasmania needs much more tourism,” he said.
The pair was joined by developer Errol Stewart at a Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry event in Launceston on Friday. “We have to push for major events and we have to push for having better facilities around the region… we really need to encourage visitation because I think that is what is going to keep us going,” he said.