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GURNER confirms deal to develop iconic Novotel St Kilda site into $550M luxury precinct

People & Companies / Latest News

Australia / Melbourne

Jun 28 2018

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Luxury property developer, GURNER™ has announced a landmark deal to develop one of St Kilda’s most iconic sites, the 6,000sqm site currently operating as the Novotel hotel at 14-16 The Esplanade, St Kilda, with the current landowner, Barana Group.

The land, which was withdrawn from sale earlier this year by the landowner, is understood to have attracted interest at values in excess of $110m, making it one of the most valuable residential development sites in Melbourne.

The project is expected to yield $500-550 million on completion and will play a key role in the regeneration of the St Kilda foreshore precinct, while delivering a level of luxury residential design the developer says will be “at a level not previously offered in Australia”.

Barana Group’s Greg Shand was first introduced to Tim Gurner by Phil Green, a founding partner of Alceon Group, one of Australia’s leading investment houses and property financiers, who will come on board as a finance partner and round out the formidable development team.

The developer has commenced an international design competition and will seek to appoint an architecture and interior design team in coming weeks that can deliver a world-leading residential precinct with resort-style amenity to what is arguably Melbourne’s most significant beach-front site.

The site currently has a permit for 240 apartments and 360 carparks over 8 levels.

GURNER™ has instructed the architects to work within the current permit conditions, massing and height, but to amend the design and product to create approximately 130 – 140 larger, ultimate luxury offerings along with a world-class wine bar / restaurant.

GURNER™ founder and director, Tim Gurner said the strategy to focus on the luxury penthouse market has come off the back of the developer’s last two incredibly successful luxury projects, ‘Albert Place Residences’ and ‘Hawksburn Place Residences’, which he said had proven the depth of the luxury owner-occupier market for the right product, location and price.

Albert Place Residences sold $140m worth of penthouse-sized residences in a matter of weeks, while Hawksburn Place Residences achieved over $90million in sales for only 20 residences that achieved an average price point of $4.5million.

“ My entire career has been working towards creating a brand capable of delivering world-leading projects, so today’s announcement is a landmark day for our brand and one that I am incredibly proud of.

“ This site is, in my view, without question one of Melbourne’s most significant and important development sites, with the potential to deliver an iconic project not just for Australia but on a global scale.

“ St Kilda is undergoing a major revitalisation with a number of significant redevelopments underway that will place it firmly on the map as an international tourist destination, just as LA’s Venice Beach, Sydney’s Bondi Beach and Monaco’s coastline are known around the globe.

“ Our vision will be to create an ultra-luxury experience encapsulating 6-star resort service and amenity to rival the best hotels in the world, delivered within a residential setting.

“ Prices will range from $1million to $15million for most of the offerings, with between three to four penthouses that will be priced up to $30million, with interest expressed already for at least this level and beyond.

“ A site of this scale, in one of Melbourne’s most iconic suburbs, with uninterrupted views of the bay and the city skyline is irreplaceable; this truly is a once-in-a-lifetime site and opportunity for buyers and we can’t wait to bring it to life,” he said.

Barana Group’s Greg Shand said:

“ Our business model for over 20 years has been to acquire properties which have the potential due to their zoning, location and aspect, to become truly extraordinary developments.

“ The Novotel St Kilda is without doubt such a property and its uniqueness has only become clearer over time. We do not take the decision to press the button to proceed to redevelop lightly and were only prepared to do so because of the skills and the vision that our partners have brought to the table.

“ We have every confidence in the professionalism of GURNER™ together with the support of Alceon to deliver this world standard development.”

Alceon partner Phil Green said he was first introduced to GURNER™ after a family member purchased at Hawksburn Place Residences late last year.

“ I have watched Tim’s career for many years and after first walking through one of Tim’s projects last year I saw first-hand the level of detail and personal involvement from Tim and knew I needed to make the introduction to Greg Shand.

“ I have been watching Tim’s business evolve and expand over the years as he has taken luxury design and development to another level. I don’t believe there is anyone better equipped than him to bring this Novotel site to life.

“Alceon is delighted to partner in the financing and development of this substantial and exciting project and we look forward to working closely with the GURNER™ team,” he said.

GURNER™ will target a soft-launch to existing database and VIP buyers in October 2018 with a public launch early 2019 and construction likely to commence later that year.

Accor group has provided significant assistance enabling this development to proceed with the Novotel to continue operation until construction begins.

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