Property and hotel awards season in full swing

Its awards season for the hotel sector and property developers, with winners already announced from an array of projects including the highly sustainable and those close to transport hubs.

A full house in Sydney on Thursday night included 400 developers at Doltone House Hyde Park for Urban Taskforce Australia’s 2023 Development Excellence Awards. Development of the year went to 88 by JQZ at St Leonards for a 640-apartment development near St Leonards railway station that includes two apartment buildings and a commercial building.

Renders of property developer JQZ’s planned office tower at 558 Pacific Highway, St Leonards.
Renders of property developer JQZ’s planned office tower at 558 Pacific Highway, St Leonards. Credit:

Urban Taskforce chief executive Tom Forrest said that development was a “timely winner in showing the way forward at a time when the new Minns government is pushing ahead with plans to deliver more housing, greater height and density around major transport hubs”.

“Despite being buffeted by the headwinds of rising costs, a challenging economy, along with a planning system that remains stubbornly unresponsive, the winners all showcased the very best in the development sector – creating places to live, work and play,” Forrest said.

The award was presented by keynote speaker and Planning Minister Paul Scully, who said: “To be clear, I’ll repeat something I said a few weeks ago: don’t build crap.

“Of course, you have to make a return, but don’t let that become a singular pursuit that overtakes quality, reputation and our collective responsibility to do the right thing: to provide housing for those that need it; to do it in a way that brings existing residents with us and which adds to the amenity of the city by standing the test of time.”

Other winners close to transport hubs included Deicorp’s aptly named Proximity, with six buildings containing 375 apartments near the Rouse Hill town centre and Metro station, which won a highly commended award for the transit-oriented category.

Highrise city winner was The Langston by CBUS, with 462 apartments just 100 metres from Epping Station in three tall buildings, with public plaza and retail outlets.

At Sydney’s Fullerton Hotel a week ago, 700 people attended the new-look 2023 NSW Accommodation Awards for Excellence, where The Star Sydney took out the coveted superior hotel of the year award for its Grand Hotel and Residences property.

The Star Grand hotel at The Star in Sydney, by Porte Cochere.
The Star Grand hotel at The Star in Sydney, by Porte Cochere. Credit:

Under the banner of the newly formed peak body Accommodation Australia NSW, guests from the hotel sector watched as more than 300 finalists vied for 37 categories, including the newly launched disability inclusion and access award.

The NSW Minister for Industrial Relations and Work Health and Safety, Sophie Cotsis, was guest
speaker, while Special Minister of State, Minister for Roads, Arts, Night-Time Economy and Music, Jobs and Tourism John Graham appeared by video link from Accor Stadium where he was attending a FIFA Women’s World Cup match.

A co-chair of the new peak body, Patrick Lonergan, said accommodation was an “essential cog in the NSW economy, employing over 400,000 people and generating more than $17.8 billion annually”.

Big winners included Crown Towers Sydney, which was named prestigious metropolitan deluxe hotel of the year, and Spicers Sangoma Retreat, which took out the sister title of regional deluxe hotel of the year. Relative newcomer QT Newcastle, which opened its doors just a year ago, took out the regional title.

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