TOOWOOMBA firm McNab has won the tender for the $10million redevelopment of the towering and iconic Burke and Wills Hotel on Ruthven St in what is a boon for local contractors.

Works began on Monday stripping the interior of the six-storey hotel which has dominated the Toowoomba CBD skyline since its construction 60 years ago.

Excited to begin Burke and Wills Hotel restoration work for McNab are (from left) sales and marketing director Steve Kelkon, site manager Paul Gordon and senior project manager Wade Jackwitz.
Excited to begin Burke and Wills Hotel restoration work for McNab are (from left) sales and marketing director Steve Kelkon, site manager Paul Gordon and senior project manager Wade Jackwitz. Kevin Farmer

While the refurbishment will maintain the post-war international style on the exterior, McNab senior project manager Wade Jackwitz said the interior fit-out brought the rooms up to a four-and-a-half star and five-star standard.

"The tower itself will remain as it is but will get dressed up and modernised and get all the new fresh technological touch-ups," Mr Jackwitz said.

"We're going to demolish a couple of the areas on the ground floor and replace it with new buildings.

"The old building on the ground floor did leak in a number of places so we've got a few places to go in there."

LAID BARE: McNab sales and marketing director Steve Kelkon (left) and senior project manager Wade Jackwitz look over the restoration work of the Burke and Wills Hotel.
LAID BARE: McNab sales and marketing director Steve Kelkon (left) and senior project manager Wade Jackwitz look over the restoration work of the Burke and Wills Hotel. Kevin Farmer

Scaffolding blankets one side of the building and the internal rooms are in the process of being stripped back to make way for the major rebuild.

McNab has committed itself to maintaining the heritage character and overlay of the building, in line with the famous style of original architect Karl Langer who popularised the post-war international style in south-east Queensland.

McNab sales and marketing director Steve Kelk commended building owner Hakfoort Group on choosing a Toowoomba firm for the project.

McNab senior project manager Wade Jackwitz looks over the chandelier in the former foyer.
McNab senior project manager Wade Jackwitz looks over the chandelier in the former foyer. Kevin Farmer

"We've been tendering for this project for the past three months," Mr Kelk said.

"Our client, the Hakfoort Group, had a very lengthy evaluation process and luckily for (McNab), they chose local.

"We think it's a fantastic development for Toowoomba and an exciting refurbishment on arguably one of Toowoomba's most famous buildings.

"We're a local builder so we've got a great local team and ... around 85 per cent of our suppliers and sub- contractors will be local as well."

The redevelopment is a major step in the changing Ruthven St street-scape following the completion of the Walton Stores precinct and coinciding with the City Hall extension.

Mr Jackwitz said the new Burke and Wills would be a "great asset to Toowoomba".

McNab has won the tender and started works on the $10 million Burke and Wills Hotel redevelopment.
McNab has won the tender and started works on the $10 million Burke and Wills Hotel redevelopment. Kevin Farmer

"It's helping to create the trendy end of Toowoomba," he said.

"There's a lot of heritage stuff we have to deal with and highlight a number of different things."

A fire-sale of Burke and Wills furniture last month helped empty the iconic building with hundreds of residents lining up to buy a piece of history.

Mr Kelk said the building timeframe was about 10 months with an estimated re-opening date of mid-2018.

McNab begin restoration work on the Burke and Wills Hotel, Wednesday, July 12, 2017.
McNab begin restoration work on the Burke and Wills Hotel, Wednesday, July 12, 2017. Kevin Farmer


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