Developers, publican to replace Isle of Wight site

The 8625 square metre site hit the market in November.

Developers Moda and Salta Capital, with pub baron Mazen Tabet – who owns the Portsea Hotel freehold – will replace the Phillip Island site where the Isle of Wight hotel once stood.

A near century old hotel was destroyed by fire in 2010 – shortly after a permit was re-issued to replace the land it sat on.

The 2.1 acre Cowes parcel comprising 9-10 The Esplanade and 2-8 Bass Avenue sold earlier this month; it was listed in November with c$11 million expectations.

Vendor, aged care investor John Matthies, paid receivers less than $5m in 2016.

The property carries an expired permit, last issued in 2010, for a nine-level hotel/resort-based mixed-use project.

Given planning changes two years ago, it can now only accommodate seven storeys at its tallest.

The southern part of the block, which is elevated, can make way for five floors.

Castran’s John Castran with Alex Scott’s Greg Price represented Mr Matthies.

It is speculated the incoming owner will propose another mixed-use complex with apartments, hotel and licensed hospitality; Moda director Ed Farquharson told Bass Coast Leader he is “weighing in multiple options”.

A concept plan will be implemented immediately, he added, while construction could be complete within four years.

The site’s former hotel hosted Fred Astaire, Ava Gardner and Gregory Peck while they filmed part of On the Beach at Phillip Island in 1958 (story continues below).

The developers

Moda is South Melbourne based and has upcoming townhouse projects at Armadale and in Hobart’s exclusive Sandy Bay.

It has completed medium density residential complexes at Elsternwick, Hawthorn, Malvern and Toorak.

Salta Capital parent Salta is an active and diversified builder known to joint venture in mid-rise apartment developments; in 2019, for a 14 level North Fitzroy complex.

The CBD based group is also behind the ultra-exclusive 150 Clarendon Street, East Melbourne, complex which replaced a Mercy Maternity Hospital. It has constructed hundreds of dwellings around Richmond’s Victoria Gardens too.

Mr Tabet is a prominent pub and hotel investor; in 2017 he paid the Bursztyn family $55m for St Kilda Road’s historic Royce Hotel.

Also that year he banked $16m selling a four-level Lansell Road, Toorak, home to celebrity chef Shannon Bennett and then wife, actress Madeleine West.

In 2015 the businessman outlaid $17.1m on the Portsea Hotel – leased to Computershare co-founder Chris Morris’ Colonial Leisure Group, who also sold a prestige house recently.

Mr Tabet also owns Airport West’s Skyways and international pubs.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of