Cabinet approves Hyatt project

Cabinet has approved a proposal by Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa to construct a five star multi faceted hotel complex in Colombo under the Hyatt Regency brand of USA.

The Government expects the land mark project with the investment of US dollar 159 million to change the landscape of the country’s sky line of the city as  Sri Lanka has emerged as a fast growing tourist destination.

The project is to be implemented by Sino Lanka Hotels & Spa (Pvt.) Ltd. as a strategic Development project under the Strategic Development Project Act No.14 of 2008 , which provides series of concessions for a specifi period which also include corporate tax holiday as well.

A partially built property with 17 floors by Ceylinco Leisure Properties Ltd. (a subsidiary of Ceylinco Group) on an Urban Development Authority (UDA) owned land at Galle Road, Colombo 03 which had been abandoned for few years due to financial difficulties faced by Ceylinco Group was taken over by the Government in 2011 in terms of the provisions in the Revival of Underperforming Enterprises and Underutilized Assets Act No.43 of 2011.

The Cabinet of Ministers in March granted approval to expedite revival of this property as a fully fledged multi faceted hotel complex in view of the forth coming Commonwealth Heads of State Meeting and to lease the property to a newly formed company on a 99-year lease basis of a nominal rent.

Accordingly as per a project proposal submitted by Sino Lanka Hotels & Spa (Pvt) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canwall Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd. to revive and redevelop the property with 475 rooms including 90 service apartments with a investment of US$ 159 mn was identified as a strategic development project.

The proposed multi faceted hotel complex consisting of 30 floors, 475 rooms and 90 service apartments will operate as a 5-star property under the Hyatt Regency brand of USA.  The project is expected to bring substantial inflow of foreign exchange, employment generation and economic benefits to the country.  It will also attract high-end tourists to Sri Lanka which will contribute to enhance foreign exchange earnings.

Also the Sri Lanka government by way of revival of this property would be able to meet part of the accommodation facilities required (approx. 6000 rooms) for the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of State Conference to be held in Colombo in 2013, the government information department said.