Erdigroup seeks ministerial approval for St Kilda hotel

The extended and rebranded St Kilda hotel.

Erdigroup is seeking approval via the Building Recovery Taskforce to extend Rydges St Kilda – which will then be rebranded QT.

The land owner already sits on a permit to increase the five level guesthouse at 33-35 Fitzroy Street by two floors.

QT St Kilda hotel from Jackson Street.

However after 14 months ago spending $4.2m on the shop next door – it has prepared a new design incorporating that land.

The amalgamated parcel spreads 1522 square metres.

The proposed fifth level bar.

The proposed redevelopment would still rise seven storeys at its highest.

Erdigroup has owned the Rydges St Kilda freehold since 2008.

QT St Kilda

The hotel investor has priced its capital outlay for the 33-37 Fitzroy St project at $63.3 million.

Sydney architect Mostaghim has been called in; the hotel’s new component will be identified by a white pleated-wall façade inspired by Marilyn Monroe’s famous blowing dress, in 1955 film The Seven Year Itch.

As well as more guest rooms – 131 compared to 80 – the St Kilda complex is designed with a gym and 278 sqm ground level restaurant.

A fifth level bar will offer water and CBD views.

Upon completion it will be trade as a QT – like Rydges, an Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited brand.

That hotelier will run the restaurant and bar.

With Novotel gone, St Kilda needs more hotel rooms: developer

From Fitzroy St, the proposed five-star QT will rise beside the brown brick Georgian Revival building Edmaro occupied by Di Stasio restaurant.

The back of the hotel, on Jackson St, neighbours the Prince of Wales car park (story continues below).

In its application Erdigroup said more St Kilda hotel rooms are needed in part, because the suburb recently lost 211, with the Novotel razed for apartments.

Coincidentally the developer of that project, Gurner, this week announced it applied to build a luxury six-floor guesthouse with 25 rooms at nearby 99-105 Fitzroy St, St Kilda – the recently vacated Cushion Lounge.

That complex will introduce a new brand, Club Maison.

Elsewhere in the area the seven storey Victorian Pride Centre is nearing completion at #79-91, in the street – a site council acquired for $13m in 2017.

The St Moritz project replacing the Novotel is due to be finished later this year.

Major transactions include the recently refurbished Espy Hotel selling to KKR backed Australian Venue company early last year and a developer outlaying $7m for the ex-Area 61 nightclub, at 61 Fitzroy St, with plans for a five storey apartment building.

Late last year the operators of bar, Veludo, rented the prominent Acland St building for 27 years occupied by Big Mouth.

Erdigroup & QT

In 2019 Erdigroup undertook a $30m refurbishment of the 200-room former Grand Mercure at 191-205 Swanston St, which was then rebranded to the upmarket Pullman.

Constructed in the early 1980s, this was the first Australian project for company founder, the late Les Erdi.

The hospitality group, now run by a board, also owns Mercure Welcome Melbourne, next door, as well as Novotel Geelong and in Sydney, Hotel Urban St Leonards.

The company’s portfolio contains nearly 1000 suites.

QT opened in Australia, nine years ago, in Sydney’s historic Gowings department store building.

It now has facilities in Canberra, Falls Creek, Gold Coast, Perth and elsewhere in Melbourne at 136 Russell St.

It trades freeholds too; last July it sold model Miranda Kerr and Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel an 87 hectare Hunter Valley estate it bought in 2016 for a resort.

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Marc Pallisco

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