Developer Unveils AUD$150 Million Revamp of Continental Hotel

Date: October 2018

Location: Sorrento, Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne, Australia

Name: Continental Hotel – opening…?

No. of Keys: 38 (original no. mooted)

Seller: The distinctive and National Trust-listed Continental Hotel, developed by actor-turned-politician George Coppin in 1875, is believed to be the only four-storey limestone structure in the southern hemisphere.

For 25 years until Mr Julian Gerner bought it, the pub was controlled by owner-operators the DiPietro family, whose farewell party, reportedly held the week before handing over the keys, might have been the venues last big hoorah.

Gerner acquired the historic hotel in 2016, securing approval for a major redevelopment.

The property was put on the market last year for around $20 million, however Gerner secured Stellar group as a JV partner to realise the full scale of the development.

Buyer: In a joint venture with former director of the Melbourne Pub Group Julian Gerner, the five-star seaside project will be delivered across two stages.

Three interconnected buildings are proposed as part of the $80 million redevelopment which will offer luxury accommodation and wellness facilities, with the goal to become an entertainment and dining destination.

Steller chief executive Simon Pitard said the Continental Hotel, which has an estimated end value around $150 million, “will re-establish Sorrento as the heart of the Mornington Peninsula”.

“Steller recognises the need to provide an iconic, mixed-use accommodation and lifestyle precinct in this sought-after location,” Pitard said.

The developer has a project pipeline of more than $4.2 billion across Melbourne’s south eastern corridor. While joint venture partner Gerner is responsible for refurbishment of properties such as the Albert Park, Middle Park and Newmarket hotels.

The project, said to be the largest tourism investment in the area, will create up to 200 jobs for the local economy once fully operational.

Price: AUD$150m

Price per Key: At just shy of $4m a key, they must be planning more rooms!

THPT Comment: Love it when we see old “grande dame” hotels bought back to life. In November 2017, it was rumoured that Mr Gerner would flip the site for AUD$20m…glad to see he didn’t.

First Seen: The Urban Developer