Marriott to push ahead with Melbourne hotel

An artist’s impression of the Marriott International at Melbourne’s Docklands.
An artist’s impression of the Marriott International at Melbourne’s Docklands.

The first Marriott International hotel built in Australia in 20 years will proceed even if the bulk of residential apartments that form part of The Docklands project are on the market.

Capital Alliance founder and chief executive officer Mohan Du says the 200-room hotel is the priority for the $250 million ­development that is not expected to start construction until the third quarter of the year with completion by the end of 2019.

“We won’t need to sell 100 per cent of the apartments. The hotel is the priority, the hotel will be built. We will get funding from one of the big four banks,” Du told The Australian, adding that marketing of the apartments is not due to start until next month.

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The Docklands development comprises two curved interlinked towers of 17 levels, each housing the five-star Marriott Hotel as well as 106 residential apartments made up of one, two and three-bedders.

The Docklands development will feature a DKO Architecture-designed Marina Bay Sands style 28m infinity pool open to hotel guests, residents and visitors fronting Waterfront Way. Mariott International’s senior director of development for the Australia Pacific region, Richard Crawford, says there are seven Marriott hotels planned for Melbourne in the next four years.

He dismisses talk of a hotel oversupply in the city, adding that recent figures show rates and occupancies are still growing. “The recent numbers show there is still demand for hotels in Melbourne, with modest increases in rate and occupancy. Some people say Melbourne has stalled. That is not the case. We think the outlook based on international and domestic forecasts shows ­demand for projects is still strong,” Crawford says.

“We are very confident for the next three years.”

Crawford expects the number of Marriott International branded hotels in Australia and the Pacific region will double in the next four years to more than 50 hotels.

Marriott International presently operates 10 Sheraton hotels in Australia and the Pacific, along with four Le Meridien hotels, three Westin hotels, as well as a Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft, and a Courtyard by Marriott.

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