Sorrento’s Continental Hotel back on the market

The Continental Hotel at Sorrento on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula is for sale.

Sorrento’s iconic Continental Hotel on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula is back on the market with a price bump of more than $5 million, less than 18 months after a developer bought it.

Developer Julian Gerner has put the historic seaside property, built in 1875, up for sale with a price tag upwards of $20 million after buying it for $15 million last year.

Gerner has since secured controversial permits to refurbish and redevelop the hotel, after protracted dealings with the local council and a conservation group, which ultimately ended in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

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Among the sticking points was the purchase of an adjoining public car park for $1.8 million, which is now expected to be redeveloped as part of the heritage-listed hotel site.

Sorrento Continental Hotel

The Continental Hotel overlooks Sorrento’s main street, as well as the bay.

Having received approval, The Continental is now offered with planning permits in place for a facility that will include luxury apartments, 38 hotel rooms, a cafe, gymnasium, day spa and a 25m lap pool with a deck, spa, steam room and sauna.

It will also include a bar and bistro, a restaurant and champagne bar, two function rooms and car parking. The current building occupies a large part of the prime 4482sqm landholding, which sits at the gateway of the main thoroughfare through the bayside town.

Continental Hotel Sorrento

An artist’s impression of the approved development at the Continental Hotel.

CBRE’s Scott Callow, Mark Wizel, Chao Zhang and Scott Orchard, in conjunction with Rob Curtain of Sotheby’s International Realty, have been appointed to market the hotel at 1-21 Ocean Beach Rd and 23 Constitutional Hill Rd.

Callow says the opportunity to buy the property is unlikely to be repeated.

“The Continental Hotel is undoubtedly one of the most recognisable properties on the Mornington Peninsula. This is a rare opportunity for developers to become the custodian of a historic coastal landmark and to capitalise on the permit approval, which allows for a remarkable hotel opportunity and luxury residences,” he says.

Continental Hotel Sorrento

A car park at the rear of the site was bought for $1.8 million, prior to the hotel being brought back to market.

“(The) Mornington Peninsula continues to grow in popularity with local and overseas tourists and Sorrento has evolved into one of the most thriving centres along the peninsula. Therefore, the property’s strategic position at the gateway of the town’s retail precinct should be a key selling point for investors.”

Orchard says there is also the opportunity for the buyer to secure tenant pre-commitments for the hospitality and commercial components of the development.

The hotel is being sold through expressions of interest, which close on December 5.