Syrian billionaire to develop third hotel in Far North


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Syrian billionaire Ghassan Aboud will develop a third hotel in Cairns. IMAGE: G.A Australia Group.

SYRIAN billionaire Ghassan Aboud is wasting no time putting his stamp on Far North Queensland with news he will develop a third hotel in Cairns.

The Dubai-based property developer, who bought the Crystalbrook Collection from prominent Port Douglas businessman John Morris recently, has acquired three hotels in Cairns since October under parent company G.A Group Australia.

The new development will be to the Bellview Motel and Backpackers at 85-87 The Esplanade Cairns and Virginia House, the adjoining three-level office building at 68 Abbott Street. It was sold for $12 million with plans for the group to turn it into a $100 million hotel.

The acquisition fulfills the company’s current vision to develop three premier properties within the region over the next three years, with each development delivering a unique premier lifestyle experience.

G.A Group Australia chief executive Mark Davie said the hotel development would be a “premier complex” extending from the Abbott Street entrance through to the Esplanade.

“We are still in the planning stages, however, we do know we want to maximise the sites potential and deliver a premium product to Cairns and visitors – one that is built according to what is suitable for the location.”

G.A Group Australia’s investment into the Cairns region over recent months has been Aboud’s extensive recent investment in Cairns has been inspired by his attraction to the rainforest, reef and outback.
“I see a whole new Cairns coming to life over the next five to seven years,” he said.

Design of the Esplanade/Abbott St property concept will start immediately, with the G.A Group and associated developers committed to working with the Cairns Regional Council to ensure the development is managed well.

“Similar to our other two Cairns locations, Lake St and Tradewinds, we plan to invest $100 million into this complex, ensuring we set a premium standard of property across the collection.”

Construction on The Bellview development will start towards the end of the year after the design and approvals stage, with work expected to take two years.

The first stage of the Tradewinds redevelopment will be completed in 2018, the Lake Street development in 2019 and the Esplanade/Abbott Street property (the Bellview site development) estimated to be completed in 2020.