Green light for Star Group’s Gold Coast tower

The Star Group has been given the green light for a 55-storey building at its Broadbeach Jupiters site.

Gaming giant The Star Group has won approval for a lavish 55-level six-star hotel and apartment tower on the Gold Coast, as more global hoteliers flag interest in the cramped Aust­ralian hospitality sector.

The Star Entertainment Group says the Broadbeach tower, including a 17-level hotel, will add 300 hotel rooms and 400 residential apartments to the Gold Coast, forming part of the $850 million transformation of its ­Jupiters site.

“We are making an enduring commitment to southeast Queensland through a long-term master plan for our Gold Coast property and a $3 billion investment at Queen’s Wharf Brisbane, both involving our Hong Kong-based partners Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium,” says Matt Bekier, chief executive of The Star Entertainment Group.

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Bekier says Star has great confidence in Queensland, while international tourism arrivals across Australia jumped 11.1% in the 12 months to October, according to federal government research.

“With increasing visitation forecasts out of Asia and China, together with strong domestic tourism figures, Queensland is well-placed to capture this growth but needs enhanced tourism product to meet the demand,” he says.

The 200m tower is the first of up to five in a $3.5 billion planned development of Jupiters to be undertaken with Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium. Star and its partners are also close to finalising a deal to buy the beachfront Sheraton Mirage resort on the Gold Coast for about $140 million.

There is a strong desire for Sydney trophy hotel assets globally

The consortium plans to use the site as a tourism offering to complement the upgraded Jupiters complex. Chinese-backed group Australia Wattle Development arranged to buy the resort from MiiResorts earlier this year and is working on the deal with the Star-led consortium.

The boom in hotel development and purchasing has spread beyond the Gold Coast, with Cbus Property readying to unveil the $250 million luxury hotel it is planning at its $1 billion Collins Arch development in Melbourne. Japanese group Daisho is in talks on the 294-suite five-star hotel on the first 15 levels of its eastern tower with a premium brand likely to be installed as ­operator.

Daisho invests and develops globally and has holdings worth more than $US1.5 billion ($2.03 billion). The company is best known in Australia as the owner of the ultra-luxury Park Hyatt Sydney hotel but it is yet to reveal the brand of the new hotel.

The hotel, to be completed in 2019 along with the remainder of the distinctively shaped mixed-use project on Melbourne’s Collins Street, was marketed by Michael Simpson of Savills. He declined to comment but the firm’s research shows the lower Australian dollar is driving more Australians to holiday domestically. Inbound tourist numbers are improving, and the firm noted that economic drivers meant ­different cities were performing at different rates, with Sydney and the Gold Coast standouts this year.

Queensland is well-placed to capture this growth but needs enhanced tourism product to meet the demand

Some owners are cashing in on the boom. Singapore’s Royal Group Holdings has called in real estate agency JLL to market the revamped InterContinental HotelDouble Bay in Sydney’s eastern suburbs with price expectations of more than $150 million. The Royal Group ploughed about $100 million into buying and refurbishing the 140-room hotel in Double Bay’s Cross St, and reopened it two years ago, with the hotel’s strong trading performance marking a departure from its troubled past.

JLL’s Craig Collins will handle the sale and he expects local and offshore groups to compete. “Even before marketing has commenced, interest in the hotel has been very strong,” he says.

“There is a strong desire for Sydney trophy hotel assets globally,” he said, with the city on par with top US and European areas.

– with Lisa Allen

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