Gurner hopes to emulate New York's Chelsea Market with $300m Geelong development

Gurner hopes to emulate New York's Chelsea Market with $300m Geelong development

Artist impression of new development. 

Luxury developer Gurner is partnering with Geelong businessman Dean Montgomery to develop a $300 million hotel, apartment and retail project close to the city’s waterfront.

Encompassing Geelong’s historic wool store, which was constructed in 1872, the development site at 20 – 28 Brougham Street consists of 2100sqm of land and is located 300 metres from the waterfront.

The redevelopment is set to transform the existing site into a mixed-use precinct, which will include a 5-star hotel, lavish apartments, and a ground floor retail component housing bars and restaurants.

“We will be bringing an incredible 5-star hotel to this location, that will feature a retail and hospitality offering at the Ground Floor that will be reminiscent of Chelsea Market in New York,” Gurner founder Tim Gurner said.

“Sitting on top of the hotel will be a collection of large luxury owner-occupier residences for locals and downsizers.

“Geelong has always been Victoria’s quiet achiever, but now with the renewed regional push as many families consider regional locations, I believe Geelong’s market run hasn’t really even begun yet.”

Montgomery, CEO of Hong Kong-headquartered food-service company Volume Group for over 20 years, is no stranger to the Geelong property market, having purchased the Old Geelong Gaol in 2018 and invested in St Albans Stud.

The new proposal comes five years after Montgomery submitted an $80 million redevelopment proposal for the Brougham Street site in 2017, alongside previous local partner Techne Developments.

Gurner has engaged architect Fender Katsalidis to design the vision, which includes a restoration of the heritage façade, and plan to lodge an amendment to the permit in late 2022.

The current woolsheds site has an existing permit for a 12-storey commercial building with approximately 26,000 sqm of gross floor area.

The intention is for the site to also link to the nearby new council offices and the university by foot.

Gurner and Montgomery were recently named as one of two bidders shortlisted for the Osbourne House development by the City of Greater Geelong.

“Buyers are reassessing their lifestyle choices and are looking for affordable locations close to beaches with easy accessibility into the CBD, and Geelong ticks all those boxes and more,” Gurner added.

“This is one of the last remaining prime waterfront sites with north-facing water views, so we are excited by the possibilities and what we can deliver to truly maximise this incredible location.

“We acquired the site with Dean with the intention to create a residential, commercial and hotel precinct, and it is our intention to bring that to life; however, if the planning changes make that difficult, we will proceed with the existing office scheme.”

Gurner’s latest development proposal follows hot on the heels of recently announced plans to develop a $120 million residential tower containing 80 apartments at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast.

Last November, Gurner and alternative real estate investment manager Qualitas raised $1.2 billion to develop build-to-rent apartments in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The first site will be a $450 million project at 12 Hassall Street in Parramatta, creating 385 residences.

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