Cashed-up developer set to take boutique hotel industry by storm

One of Australia’s leading developers has acquired a landmark St Kilda site as it sets its sights on conquering the boutique hotel space.

Multi-billion-dollar property developer Gurner secured the famous Cushion Lounge at 99 Fitzroy Street in an off-market deal worth $2.25 million late last year with a view to transforming the site into a 25-room luxury hotel.

The strategic acquisition comes as the developer looks to pad out its impressive portfolio by introducing its Club Maison range, a concept coined from some of the world’s leading boutique offerings.

Gurner founder Tim Gurner told of his delight at getting the ambitious project under way, and said the St Kilda project will be the first of many as plans to snap up 12 to 15 similar sites in the next 12 to 18 months are in the pipeline.

“Our Club Maison buildings will offer discerning Australians a private club experience with long- and short-term stays, private and public amenity and a very big focus on world-class hospitality offerings,” he says.

“When you look at the successful business model of Soho House in London and New York, we want to take a similar approach and apply it at a local scale.

“We’re aggressively looking for further sites as the business continues to diversify and grow.”

The planned boutique hotel will also be located just moments from another landmark Gurner development – Saint Moritz – as the group looks to capitalise on an area of immense potential.

“Saint Moritz really reinvigorated my love for St Kilda – we’re excited about the opportunities here and I believe St Kilda is really just at the beginning of a once-in-a-generation transformation,” Tim explains.

“We’re keen to be at the forefront of this transformation and make our mark on St Kilda as a luxury bayside destination.”

Plans for the six-level Fitzroy Street hotel have already been submitted, with architects Warren and Mahoney tasked with the design of the first Club Maison offering and construction earmarked to commence later this year.

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