Construction set to start on 15-level Punthill Geelong apartment hotel

The Punthill Geelong apartment hotel complex is due to open in 2024.

A new 15-level apartment hotel is set to be constructed in central Geelong under a major accommodation’s player expansion into regional Australia.

Veriu Group has announced building works are about to start on Punthill Geelong, which will offer 80 studio apartments, conference rooms and meeting facilities.

The property, at 22 Bellerine St, Geelong, is scheduled to open for business in May 2024.

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Veriu Group has partnered with the Romero Group, owned by former Western Bulldogs footballer Jose Romero, to construct the apartment complex.

Demolition of the existing warehouse on the site, once home a motor mechanic business, expected to start in the next week.

Chief executive Zed Sanjana said the apartment hotel was one of four new developments the business was launching across Victoria and the first outside a capital city.

He said it was targeting solo and group business travellers seeking quality corporate accommodation in a vibrant and convenient location close the city centre and waterfront.

The building will be home to 80 studio apartments, plus conference and meeting rooms.

“The Australian accommodation market has been consistently undersupplied for a number of years, particularly in terms of upscale and design-driven apartment hotels in key corporate locations,” Mr Sanjana said.

“We believe that business travellers are increasingly looking for more unique and localised accommodation experiences within these corporate hubs.

“Our network expansion is focused on bringing more unique and interesting accommodation options to CBD, suburban and regional markets, underpinned by the business travel segment, supported by business and industrial parks, universities, hospitals and major infrastructure projects.”

It expects Punthill Geelong will appeal to those commuting to and from Melbourne and taps into the nearby Deakin University’s waterfront campus, TAC, CSIRO and Westfield shopping centre.

Geelong’s R Hotel opened on the site of the former Ritz Flats in March 2021.

Mr Sanjana said Geelong, like other regional hubs, was seeing the emergence of mixed-use developments that combined office space with residential and food and beverage premises.

“We believe that short or long-term accommodation is going to play an integral role in servicing these commercial and office hubs and will also assist developers in attracting good quality tenants,” he said.

Romero Group director Jose Romero said the company focused on medium to large density construction and retaining long-term assets with lucrative leases.

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The Bellerine St site is just a few blocks from Geelong’s waterfront.

“The Punthill Geelong project, particularly, will provide a great opportunity to capitalise on Geelong’s growing appeal to businesses looking to relocate to affordable locations that also offer attractive lifestyle outcomes,” he said.

The Bellerine St site was last traded for $2.1m in November 2019, according to CoreLogic records.

Punthill Geelong will be joined by another Punthill property in Essendon North and Veriu’s first two Victorian hotels at Collingwood and near the Queen Victoria Market.