Brian McCarthy, managing director of Le Masurier, said construction work at the Merchants Square site was currently running according to plan. The project also includes around 150 apartments, a restaurant and shop.
Speaking about the Premier Inn development, he said: ‘It is progressing very much according to plan. Whitbread [the hotel chain’s owners] are due to take over the hotel in early January, when it is due to be complete, but they will need to resource it and do staff training before they open in February.’
In August last year Mr McCarthy revealed that Whitbread had formally expressed an interest with Le Masurier about building a third Premier Inn, with around 100 bedrooms, in St Helier. The company opened their first outlet, with 91 bedrooms, at Charing Cross in July 2018.
Despite suspending the plans due to the economic impact of the pandemic, Mr McCarthy said he thought they would still eventually go ahead with them.
‘They are still saying that they want a third hotel in St Helier but they put it off as, like all of hospitality, they were badly impacted by Covid. Their biggest focus has been to get themselves up and running and back up to capacity. I imagine it will be deferred for another 12 months,’ he said.
Le Masurier, which previously operated its wine merchant’s business from its Bath Street Merchants Square site, also owns a large area of property which extends from 31 to 41 Broad Street southwards as far as 19 to 29 Commercial Street.
In 2011, the company submitted plans to build 260,000sq-ft of office space across eight storeys on the site. At the time it was thought to be the largest building ever proposed in the Channel Islands. However, the project never went ahead. The site was also initially earmarked for the government’s new headquarters but ministers eventually chose to redevelop their old headquarters, Cyril Le Marquand House, in partnership with Dandara instead.
Mr McCarthy has revealed that a new planning application for Broad Street is likely to be submitted within months. However, he remained tight-lipped on what it could include.
He added: ‘What I can say is that we have just finished carrying out a feasibility exercise for that site and we will be submitting a planning application within the first quarter of next year.
‘We will be holding a public consultation and engaging with the media at the same time.’