Tim Gurner has secured planning approval for a boutique hotel at his Johnston Street site in Collingwood, a year after ditching plans for a residential scheme.
The Melbourne developer has been given the green light to move ahead on a boutique hotel in partnership with Sydney chain Veriu.
Veriu, which holds a portfolio of 1,700 guest rooms across 24 sites, has found success partnering on sites funded by individual developers.
Under the partnership Gurner will retain ownership of the hotel and retail components as part of a longer-term buy-and-hold strategy.
After receiving approval for a residential project in 2018, Gurner decided to cut back the number of apartments and incorporate a hotel element, diversifying from Melbourne’s then cooling residential market.
The approved scheme, dubbed Ateliér Residences, will sit behind a heritage façade and includes provisions for 51 high-end apartments and a 95 guest rooms, along with a 700 square metre, two-level restaurant and retail precinct.
The $120 million project, located at at 23–33 Johnston Street, has not been without contention.
Gurner acquired the 1,800sq m site from the Martino family for $12 million in 2016 and quickly set plans in motion for a 12-storey apartment project.
However, the developer became embroiled in a public stoush with Victorian planning minister Richard Wynne after Wynne intervened to block the Collingwood development.
Gurner lodged a claim against the minister in the Victorian Supreme Court, contending that the minister “acted beyond his power” to block the project.
Gurner withdrew proceedings against the planning minister after the first directions hearing in the Victorian Supreme Court in February last year.
Construction across the project is now slated to commence in May 2020 with the hotel earmarked to reach completion by late 2021.