Holiday Inn Express checks into Melbourne’s west end

The western end of Melbourne’s CBD has become a hot target for hoteliers. Picture: Tony Gough

Private investment firm Pro-invest Group has snapped up a second hotel site in Melbourne’s central business district and will develop a Holiday Inn Express on the $30 million property.

The hotel deal caps off a record year for development site sales in the Melbourne CBD, despite the developers running into some headwinds due to funding and planning restrictions.

Pro-invest bought two adjoining buildings at 595-599 Little Collins St that cover a 1254sqm site, in a deal brokered by CBRE’s Melbourne City Sales team of Josh Rutman, Mark Wizel and Lewis Tong.

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The western end of Melbourne’s CBD has become a hot target for hoteliers due to its proximity to Southern Cross Station and links to Melbourne Airport.

Pro-Invest managing director Tim Sherlock notes the undersupply of hotel rooms across the country and is confident about the Little Collins St property.

“We continue to look for more quality opportunities in the Melbourne market following the recent announcement of our continued partnership with IHG for the rollout of the Even brand through Australia and New Zealand,” he says.

In October last year, Pro-invest also bought two adjoining buildings at the former Opera Australia headquarters at 35-47 City Rd, Southbank, where another Holiday Inn Express is planned.

The western end of Melbourne’s CBD has become a hot target for hoteliers due to its proximity to Southern Cross Station and links to Melbourne Airport

Despite some uncertainty about city planning controls put in place by Victorian planning minister Richard Wynne last year, and the city’s newly confirmed floor space ratios, there has been a series of record development site deals in Melbourne’s CBD this year.

Major deals include Malaysia’s SP Setia buying Telstra’s Exhibition St site and Nuway International buying the former Convention Centre site on Spencer St, for $101 million and $97 million respectively.

Rutman says that despite recent barriers created by the government and banks, there is an influx of capital seeking out development sites in the Melbourne CBD and surrounding city fringe areas.

“Both residential and hotel developers are taking a longer term view that Melbourne’s strong growth forecasts are sound and this should see them receive a terrific return on their investment,” he says.

This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.