Funding Halts Steller Construction Progress on Continental Hotel, 76 Workers Sacked
Progress has been thrown into limbo on the iconic Continental Hotel project in Sorrento as developer Steller Construction seeks funding to continue work on the joint-venture initiated in 2018 with reputable hotelier Julian Gerner.
Last week they failed to secure the site adjacent to the Contential Hotel for the next phase of the development after negotiations with the vendor of 12 Riley Lane ended, which was part of the $80 million restoration to the 143-year-old heritage-listed limestone hotel.
“Initial site works at the Continental Hotel have recently been completed, with further works slated to commence later this year,” the company said in a statement.
“Continental Hotel Group is currently in the process of securing senior construction funding to finance the next stage of construction and is in discussions with major funders to secure this finance. Funding is expected to be secured by Q3.”
Since boasting a $4.2 billion pipeline as recently as last year, Steller have made 76 employees redundant this year. Tighter construction financing constraints are claimed to be the leading factor, and despite alarming concerns, Steller remain firm that project will continue to go ahead.
“Construction funding for the Continental Hotel redevelopment has not fallen through,” the company said in a statement to the AFR.
Steller’s construction arm is rumoured to be entering administration in the latest of a string of recent events involving company heads’ Nicholas Smedley and Simon Pitard. Mr Pitard resigned a director of Steller Steel, Steller Building Systems and Steller Lining at the beginning of March.
Both Smedley and Pitard have been removed from the Steller website, along with sales and marketing director James Cirelli.
The luxury restoration is tilted to attract visitors year-round to the Peninsula, promising increases in tourism, jobs, and revenue for the area. Significant delays in funding and progress may result in further redundancies at Steller.
A spokesperson claims, “The company was in the process of amalgamating certain arms of the business across its construction and building portfolio to suit market conditions.”
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