One building, two new hotels for Melbourne CBD

The Holiday Inn Express in Melbourne’s Southbank has won a $39m debt investment from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

A dual-branded hotel is set to open in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall on a site that last year was vacated by retail billionaire Solomon Lew.

The owners of The Walk ­Arcade are taking the opportunity to develop a $200 million mixed-use development after Lew’s Premier Investments last year shut its flagship Just Jeans and Portmans stores amid a row over rents.

IHG will open a Holiday Inn facing Bourke Street Mall and a Hotel Indigo on Little Collins St. Both brands will share the same building, but it will offer separate entrances.

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With 453 rooms — 181 in Hotel Indigo and 272 in Holiday Inn — the brands will be able to share back-of-house operations and a combined management.

“This is the heart of Melbourne, it’s ground zero for the city,” IHG senior director of development for Australasia Abhijay Sandilya says.

“If we looked at the highest and best use of the site, as a complement to the retail component, it was a hotel.”

IHG has also signed a deal with Barnes Capital for a 150-room, new-build Holiday Inn in the northern suburb of Coburg, designed by architects Hachem.

Meanwhile, the Holiday Inn Express in Melbourne’s Southbank — being developed by Pro-invest Group — has won a $39 million debt investment from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to achieve a five-star NABERS energy rating.

“These design changes will result in a 25% drop in the hotel’s energy use, delivering a substantial energy saving,” CEFC chief executive Ian Learmonth says.

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