Veriu pre-commits to four Australian hotels for its Punthill brand – three in Melbourne

Boutique hotelier Veriu has pre-committed to four venues on Australia’s east coast – a move which will grow its burgeoning portfolio by 235 rooms.

With each development, the land-owner will cover hotel construction costs.

Upon completion, in 2021, all will be leased long-term to Veriu for its Punthill brand.

The landlords would then have the opportunity to retain the small trophy properties as passive investments.

Alternatively, they could be listed for sale (Veriu has in the past owned its freeholds, so could even be a suitor).

Three of the proposed hotels are in metropolitan Melbourne:

  • A 40-room complex, to be known as Punthill Essendon North, being developed by EVR Group;
  • An 80-suite hotel in the west, Punthill Caroline Springs, which will be controlled by Geopec, and
  • A 55-inn complex to be named Punthill Oakleigh Central.

Veriu also committed to a hotel it will brand Punthill in the New South Wales Central Coast town of West Gosford.

The accommodation provider’s director of operations, Kyle Kaya, described each of the sites as being in “fantastic, demand-driven locations”.

Its chief executive officer, Zed Sanjana, previously said the company is keen to partner with top-tier developers like Charter Hall and PDG Corporation (which is building the Queen Victoria Market hotel).

In Melbourne, Veriu has sites in Carlton, Prahran, Richmond, Windsor, South Melbourne and South Yarra, as well as in the city, on its radar.

It also intends establish in Adelaide and Perth.

Veriu is behind several new projects in Sydney including 233 George Street in the city, and another in inner city Chippendale.

Last year its diretors announced the operation was forming a partnership with Michelin-trained chef James Metcalfe, and a co-work space provider, +U, to service its hotels.

Veriu’s Melbourne expansion follows the $55 million sale of a prominent Sydney CBD freehold

In August, Veriu sold Tyche Capital a historic five-level, 122-room hotel in the Sydney CBD Chinatown precinct (pictured, below) – banking $55 million.

Peddled with a leaseback to Veriu Central, 75 Wentworth Avenue, at the prominent Elizabeth Street V-intersection, was prior to 2016 known as Central Station Hotel.

The disposal coincided with the vendor expanding its Melbourne hotel portfolio, again via lease deals.

In May, Veriu committed to an unbuilt 95-key facility, part of an 11-storey mixed use building Gurner is constructing at 23-33 Johnston Street, in Melbourne’s inner north east Collingwood (artist’s impression, bottom).

Veriu only confirmed its maiden project in the city the week earlier – a 111-room complex which will form part of the Queen Victoria Market Munro site redevelopment.

The former Central Station Hotel is at the busy V-intersection of Elizabeth Street and Wentworth Avenue in Sydney’s Chinatown precinct.

Elsewhere in Melbourne, Veriu earlier this year committed to an Alphington hotel, about six kilometres north east of the city, which will be branded Punthill.

The Alphington complex is being developed by Joe Russo’ Caydon which – like Tim Gurner’s building business – controls several inner Melbourne sites which could benefit from having a hotelier like Punthill or Veriu, as an occupier within a mixed use project.

Veriu was established in mid-2017, but grew in prominence a year later when it acquired a portfolio of 13 Punthill hotels (four in the Melbourne CBD), more than quadrupling its number of rooms under management.

Its young directors, Alex Thorpe and Rhys Williams, had been in business since 2000, predominantly working in cheap furnished accommodation, including for students, via a business called Furnished Property.

The pair met at aged 10 but reconnected at a business level while studying communications at university.

The proposed Veriu hotel, part of the Atelier apartment complex, in Collingwood.

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Marc Pallisco

A freelance property analyst and journalist, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

Marc Pallisco
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