Gurner is planning a luxury hotel and to launch a new brand at the site of St Kilda’s Cushion Lounge.
The developer quietly picked up 99-105 Fitzroy Street mid-last year following a failed 2019 expressions of interest campaign when it was offered with a now-expired lease to the bar.
On 488 square metres, zoned Commercial 1, it was targeted to builders.
Catani Gardens and the beach are 400 metres away.
Gurner introduces Club Maison brand
Gurner this week lodged plans to replace 99-105 Fitzroy St with a six-level guesthouse containing 25 suites, ground floor retail, lounges and rooftop pools.
The development would introduce a new company marque: Club Maison.
It will be held as an investment – an atypical move for the group, renowned as a medium density builder.
The Warren and Mahoney Architects inn takes design cues from two Italian landmarks: the Palazza della Civiltà Italiana in Rome and Milan’s Mondadori headquarters – and includes arched windows and exposed concrete, brick and steel.
The top three floors are set back from Fitzroy St (story continues below).
Gurner founder and director Tim Gurner said the project carves a new company niche.
“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,” the executive added.
“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.
“These projects will become long-term investments for us as we look to strategically hold more assets across our portfolio”.
Gurner is intending to buy at least another dozen hotel sites “of varying scale” over the next 12-18 months.
Elsewhere in the suburb the developer is building a high-end apartment complex on the site which generations ago housed the St Moritz Ice Skating Rink.
Meanwhile at 33-37 Fitzroy St, Erdigroup recently submitted plans for a seven-storey QT inn which would replace a Rydges.
St Kilda is six kilometres south of Melbourne.