Burnham Beeches earmarked for $100m revamp

After a refurbishment, Burnham Beeches is expected to be worth c$100 million.

The consortium behind a new luxury hotel chain which to date has chosen landmark historic buildings as venues has turned its attention to Sherbrooke’s Burnham Beeches.

The 22 hectare Sherbrooke property may soon offer a community garden, restaurants and glamping.

The new Melbourne based owners, the Kanat and Smorgon families with Trenerry Projects (KST), this month appointed sustainability focused Six Senses – a division of IHG Hotels – to operate a proposed resort, speculated to have a $100 million end value.

Thirty nine glamping plots will be introduced – that outcome, the landlords say, being a low-impact use for the 22 hectare grounds.

Adam Garrison and Shannon Bennett sold Burnham Beeches in March.

The imposing c1933 Art Deco mansion, designed by Harry Norris for Aspro founder Alfred Nicholas, will be refit with 43 suites, with different floorplans, penned by Woods Bagot.

Wellness centres, a village square, restaurants and a farm, the Earth Lab, which will grow herbs, fruit and vegetables, are some other components; these will also be open-to-the-public.

IHG, for its InterContinental brand, recently opened at Sorrento’s Continental Hotel (artist’s impression, top) – another KST project – where it manages 106 suites.

It also established a Holiday Inn as part of Franze Developments’ Geelong Quarter – a redevelopment of that town’s ex-Trans Otway Bus Terminal.

The plan

Burnham Beeches would be Six Senses’ first Australian venue; the company is renowned for its green focus and use of all-natural products.

The proposal will offer spa treatments and workshops.

Cafes, restaurants, a dining hall/event space, brewery and providore form part of Village Square.

KST is planning a rooftop bar and library as well.

The Earth Lab will include an arboretum, truffle farm, wetlands and playground; its produce will also service the restaurants.

End of trip facilities will be established too, for cyclists and walkers (story continues below).

Artist’s impression of the Hotel Continental just before it opened.

It is unknown if Six Senses will incorporate hydrotherapy, saunas and tea rooms, as it does offshore; the brand operates from 20 properties in 17 countries.

South Yarra’s Poolman House is earmarked for a luxury resort.

Burnham Beeches is part of a company growth strategy aiming to add 34 resorts to its book in the medium term.

If approved, Village Square could open next year, with glamping to begin in 2025.

The landlords are also behind a Melbourne proposal incorporating the Poolman House mansion, in South Yarra’s Domain precinct – a property it snapped up last March for c$17m.

KST consortium polishes another diamond

KST picked up Burnham Beeches for $16.6m in March.

The sellers, Adam Garrison and Shannon Bennett, the latter who part operated it as the Piggery Cafe, offered it permit-ready for the hospitality development which forms the basis of the latest submission.

They held the property 12 years however it has had nine owners since 1982.

Sherbrooke is 40 kilometres east of the CBD, where Mr Bennett ran six-time Michelin rated Vue de monde, at the Rialto.

Earlier this year, an office developed by Mr Nicholas and his brother George, also penned by Harry Norris, at 31-41 Swanston Street, sold for c$80m to Forza Capital, which is planning a major refurbishment.

Colliers’ Lachlan MacGillivrayMatt Stagg and Oliver Hay with Gorman Allard Shelton’s Joseph Walton, Patrick Barnes and Michael Ryan were the agents.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.