Amber snares Abbotsford, Geelong hotel sites



Amber Property Group, a hotel developer backed by former Holden dealer Geoff Brady, has snared two more Victorian sites for projects set to carry an end value over $500 million.

Eleven owners last year united to sell South Yarra Square to a developer for a premium.

In Melbourne’s inner east Abbotsford, the company is paying $22.023m for five low-rise showrooms covering 2428 square metres at 422-430 Johnston Street, on the north west corner of Trenerry Crescent.

Also with frontage to Little Turner St, the Commercial 1 zoned block is expected to be replaced after the last unit becomes vacant in 2025; a c10-level tower could be considered, according to JLL’s Nick Peden, Josh Rutman and Jesse Radisich, who brokered the sale.

The deal is the latest example of neighbours banking a premium by uniting to attract large developers; the five owners will each receive c$4.4m against the c$1.5m the assets would have achieved had they been offered individually, Mr Peden said.

In neighbouring Richmond, Amber is behind a hotel proposal at 203-207 Bridge Rd.

Amber joins Geelong rush

Meanwhile, Amber has quietly formed a partnership with Acts Global Churches to replace a central Geelong block with a $250m, 18 level hospitality-based asset (story continues below).

Earmarked for 35 Corio St, an island site also with frontage to Brougham, Clare and Gheringhap streets, Cunningham Place, as it is dubbed in planning documents, will contain a 168-suite hotel, 650-seat auditorium and 5000 sqm conference facility.

Retail, including a supermarket space and restaurant precinct, forms parts of the WMK Architecture design, as does co-working offices, a medical centre, childcare complex and traditional residential apartments.

Given the scale, the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is reviewing the proposal, lodged earlier this month.

The western part of the site is opposite the Dennys Lascelles woolstore, which land owner Dean Montgomery and Gurner recently earmarked for a $300m hotel and apartment complex, expected to rise 18 floors too.

Also nearby, Franze Developments is replacing the former Trans Otway bus depot with Geelong Quarter, containing the Ryrie Home apartment complex and a Holiday Inn hotel with uber-luxury apartments (Ryrie Residences) above.


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