Receivers move into Grand Mercure

NEWCASTLE is set to lose the luxurious inner-city Grand Mercure Apartments in Hunter Street because it is in the hands of receivers less than three years after its opening.

Development company Newcastle Pinnacle Apartments, owned by Sydney’s John and Margaret Waterhouse, was placed in the hands of receivers McGrathNicol on Monday.

The 4 star hotel on the former Latec House site will close tomorrow and the Pinnacle restaurant will also stop trading.

Grand Mercure is part of the international Accor group that was operating the business for the Waterhouses and occupancy rates were ‘‘very strong’’ according to a former employee.

Jason Preston from McGrathNicol said the amount owed to creditors had not been finalised and he planned to sell the business.

‘‘We’ll be employing a local agent to advertise a residential tenancy lease and a sale campaign for individual units,’’ Mr Preston said.

‘‘We will also be running a sale campaign nationally looking for someone to buy the remaining units in one line.’’

One of the deciding factors in the business going under was that the Waterhouse’s company still owned 37 of the 68 apartments.

The $30million development opened in mid-2009 and revived the derelict Latec House that was designed in 1956 to be the tallest building in Hunter Street.

Most rooms in the Grand Mercure were built in China and shipped in containers.

Hotel guests have been permitted to stay until tomorrow.

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