Quest Apartments hopes to be in its Orange location by early 2019 after councillors approved the proposal.
General manager of growth, James Shields, said the 77-room venture would focus on the longer-stay corporate market.
“Eighty per cent of our business is clients on extended stays of corporate travel,” he said.
“Also Orange is a destination – it’s a location with quite a bit of diversification in the economy.”
Rooms would average $180 a night in the first year, with one, two and three-bedroom apartments available.
Mr Shields said the company had been trying to enter the Orange market for a long time and Eastern Developments, owned by developer Jim Saran, purchased the site on the back of a deal between the two parties.
“We had a few false starts,” he said of the years-long search for a site.
“You need to be comfortable with the people you partner with because the lease is 25-30 years, so we are there for the long term.”
An attempt to locate Quest at the Summer Centre ended when the developer hit financial difficulties.
We had a few false starts... The lease is 25-30 years, so we are there for the long term.Quest general manager of growth James Shields
Mr Shields said subsequent investigations into Orange City Centre hit planning challenges.
“The planning was very constrained, there were a lot of heritage issues and it would have been a long way away for us and we were keen to get into Orange quickly,” he said.
He said the Kite Street site, formerly home to the Central Western Daily, did not have the same degree of heritage sensitivity and it was a straight build.
The business lounge and conference centre would not be licensed, but Mr Shields said they enabled clients to hold meetings in a range of settings, while the cafe and retails space would be separately leased.
Although the development will still be nine parking spaces short of Orange City Council’s requirements, Mr Shields said it was important to include the proposed 80 spaces, compared to the 52 spaces initially proposed.
“Most people travel around using a vehicle, that’s been the case in other regional locations,” he said.
He anticipated the construction contracts would be awarded in six months and hoped the building would be complete within 18 months.