Jackalope Hotels founder picks up another Flinders Lane building

Upper floors of 175 Flinders Lane are expected to be incorporated into a hotel redevelopment of the Maria George building (right).

Louis Li has purchased a warehouse converted CBD office neighbouring his Maria George building, which is earmarked for a Jackalope Hotel.

The latest property, 175 Flinders Lane, cost $25 million from Helen Sykes in July.

It is perhaps best known for its lower level tenancy – Chris Lucas’ Kisume.

The upper six floors are strata titled offices.

Colliers’ Daniel Wolman, Oliver Hay, Leon Ma with Killen Thomas’ John Camilleri marketed 175 Flinders Ln.

The c1911 Maria George building set Mr Li back $11.5m in 2018.

The amalgamated holding covers 628 square metres.

Louis Li

Mr Li, the 33 year old son of China-based developers and hoteliers, is now expected to incorporate the upper floors of 175 Flinders Ln into the proposed guesthouse.

In 2017 – a decade after moving to Melbourne as a student – the businessman opened the first Jackalope Hotel at Merricks North, on the Mornington Peninsula; Hillary Clinton is amongst one of its high profile guests (story continues below).

Two years earlier, the executive paid $45m for St Kilda’s Prince of Wales Hotel.

Mr Li also owns a share in Black Star Pastry which operates out of five Australian stores.

The businessman is also responsible for the city’s Rain Room exhibit.

Jackalope Flinders Lane

In 2018, Mr Li proposed repurposing the six storey Maria George building as a 32 suite guesthouse.

The redevelopment would have included a four floor extension, with a frosted glass box on the rooftop which would dub as a cloud-themed bar.

The design also included a café and two restaurants.

Plans to open last year were put on hold because of COVID.

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Marc Pallisco

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