Sorrento's Continental Hotel with Controversial Permit Up for Grabs


Sorrento’s historic Continental Hotel is being sold by its owner, publican Julian Gerner with offers expected around the $20 million mark.

After acquiring the hotel in 2016, Gerner obtained a contentious redevelopment permit which included a four-storey apartment, "wellness centre" and cafe, lap pool, 24 new hotel rooms, modern public bar and restaurant.

The Mornington Peninsula Shire council approved a $22 million redevelopment of the hotel amid claims by conservation and heritage groups that the decision was rushed and planning application badly handled by the council.

The council also approved the sale of the public carpark next door, at 23 Constitution Hill Rd to Gerner for $1.8 million to form part of the redevelopment.

Gerner had put forward an ambitious proposal to construct a seven-storey structure next to the historic hotel.

Despite an attempt by council to limit the height of the tallest proposed new building, Gerner’s plan to build around the historic pub was upheld this year by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

It is understood that Gerner is also considering partnering with an investor to proceed with the approved redevelopment if the right sale is not achieved.

[Also read: 108-Year-Old Mansion Set To Shake Up Mornington Peninsula Market]The Continental Hotel is National Trust-listed and was built in 1875.

Gerner was previously a director of the Melbourne Pub Group and was responsible for refurbishment of properties including the Albert Park, Middle Park and Newmarket hotels.

The sale is being marketed by Sotheby’s Rob Curtain with CBRE’s Scott Callow, Scott Orchard and Chao Zhang.

Last month, a Mornington Peninsula group of cinemas owned by the Kirby family, founders of Village Roadshow, sold for nearly $10 million. The cinemas included the Sorrento cinema on Ocean Beach Road and a newer multi-screen complex at Rosebud. The properties were sold with long-term leasebacks.

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