Expressions of Interest Sought to Activate Historical Exchange Hotel

Published on 07 February 2022

Exchange Hotel EOI.jpg

The Shire of Murray is actively seeking expressions of interest for a food and beverage operator for the historical Exchange Hotel which is set to become an iconic regional hospitality destination in the Peel Region and a popular dining, meeting and entertainment space.

The Shire is looking for capable and innovative operators with demonstrated experience in creating successful, iconic hospitality destinations and who share the community’s vision for the site. The successful proponent will have opportunity to assist with the detailed design works that will inform the operational site which is expected to open in late 2023.

Shire CEO Dean Unsworth said this was a “truly unique opportunity to be involved in the redevelopment of one of the oldest hotels in the Peel Region to create a place rich in stories, great food and people”.

With the much loved Exchange Hotel closing its doors in 2008, the Shire purchased the site in 2012 and is looking to define the next chapter in the story of the Hotel through redevelopment and reactivation and a strong brand identity unique to the Hotel and Pinjarra.

Following unsuccessful attempts to attract an investor in the past, with the most recent in 2019 not progressing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Shire of Murray councilors in 2020 resolved to investigate redeveloping the site itself recognising that reliance on investor led redevelopment was likely to continue to prove challenging in a risk averse environment.

In 2021, a shared vision with the community was developed for the site with a preliminary design concept report prepared estimating redevelopment costs at $5.2m.

CEO Dean Unsworth said that “the vision for the site positions the future Exchange Hotel as a ‘must stop’ regional destination known for its unique building character, farm-to-table dining experience, market garden style landscaping and picturesque location showcasing uninterrupted views of the iconic Murray River”.

Opportunity also presents for event space to host weddings, private events and farmers markets as well as a providore or retail incubator spaces to support regional small businesses.

In support of the site’s vision, a business case was developed estimating that the project has the potential to deliver $57.5 million of new economic output over five years into the local economy, create 67 fulltime jobs and see more than 38,000 new visitors to the Murray Region annually.

CEO Dean Unsworth said that the “redeveloped hospitality venue with its collective activity will be impactful for the Murray Region and will contribute to reinforcing Pinjarra as a must visit tourist destination growing the local economy and supporting economic development of the regional town”.

Through the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions grant, the Shire was successful in securing $2.335 million to support the redevelopment with the Shire of Murray Council committing a further $2.855 million which will enable the site to be reactivated and enjoyed once again by the community and visitors alike.

The expression of interest process will be conducted in two stages with stage 1 now open until until 19th April 2022 calling for interested parties to respond.  Stage 2 of the process will involve those shortlisted proponents in stage 1 being invited to submit a higher level of detail on their proposal. It is anticipated that preferred proponent status will be awarded in June 2022.

For more information, contact the Shire’s economic development team (08) 9531 7777 or at mailbag@murray.wa.gov.au or visit www.theexchangehotelpinjarra.com.au to keep up to date with the redevelopment.