Conservation works at the former Exchange Hotel site are complete, with significant heritage sections protected and the potential of the site exposed to entice developers.
The works, which commenced in February 2019 thanks to funding assistance from Alcoa, were undertaken to protect the 1866 Dr Bedingfeld Cottage and 1925 accommodation, kitchen and dining sections that were mostly hidden behind building extensions added onto the heritage components in subsequent years.
According to Shire President Cr. David Bolt, the works have made it clear for prospective development proponents, the sections of the building that need to be incorporated into future development.
“Works further de-risked the site through the completion of structural repairs and reroofing including the installation of new roof plumbing,” Cr. Bolt said.
External building sections of non-heritage significance have been removed.
The Shire aspires for a quality, family friendly food and beverage establishment to be developed, with negotiations ongoing with potential developers/operators.
“The Shire has received a number of enquiries over several years via expressions of interest and an on-site advertising process, and is working diligently to ensure that the right proponent, with a sustainable and befitting proposal is approved to develop the key site, in line with Council’s vision and community expectations.
“Achieving a quality outcome has the potential to stimulate further private investment in the town, support the local economy and activate the surrounding heritage precinct and adjacent foreshore,” Cr. Bolt said.
The Exchange Hotel has a close association with the development and growth of Pinjarra, having operated continuously as a hotel since 1871, until it closed in 2008.
Council purchased the site in 2012 after it sat vacant for a number of years, to ensure the protection of the heritage assets and its development in line with the town’s character.
“Since purchasing the site the Shire has excised the foreshore and town square components of the property, ensuring public ownership and access to this enviable recreational asset,” Cr. Bolt said.