punthill geelong
Impression of Punthill Geelong. Image supplied.
  • Veriu will open two new apartment hotels over the next two years
  • Veriu will also open their first two Victorian Veriu Hotels
  • Despite pandemic challenges, their business has operated strongly over the past two years

A leading innovator in the Australian apartment hotel and micro-apartment space has announced the launch of four new properties in Victoria.

Veriu Group will open two new apartment hotels, Punthill Essendon North and Punthill Geelong, in August 2022 and May 2024 respectively. This will round out the current collection of Punthill apartments to 13.

The group will also open their first two Victorian Veriu Hotels – Veriu Collingwood and Veriu Queen Victoria Market – expected to open later this year.

On top of this, construction for a further 5 properties is expected to commence during the second half of 2022.

This will boost the group’s portfolio to near 1,320 rooms and apartments operating or in development across 20 sites under the two brands.

“We’re delighted to be adding the new properties to our existing apartment hotels portfolio,” said Veriu Group CEO Zed Sanjana.

“Each one is specifically situated to take advantage of substantial key catchment areas, which are currently relatively underserviced in terms of quality corporate accommodation.

“Like all properties in our Group, they are ideally positioned to be able to provide both corporate and leisure guests with premium accommodation in vibrant and convenient locations.”

Mr Sanjana makes no secret of the group’s ambition to become a national operator following their offering across the eastern seaboard.

“The Australian accommodation market has been consistently undersupplied for a number of years, particularly in terms of upscale and design-driven apartment hotels in key corporate locations,” he said.

zed sanjana
Zed Sanjana. Image supplied.

“We believe that business travellers are increasingly looking for more unique and localised accommodation experiences within these corporate hubs.

“Our network expansion is focused on bringing more unique and interesting accommodation options to CBD, suburban and regional markets, in locations underpinned by the business travel segment, supported by business and industrial parks, universities, hospitals and major infrastructure projects.”

Pandemic challenges

Notwithstanding the challenges of the last two years, he added the demand for both brands from the development community remains strong.

“We’ve now built a really strong pipeline of new greenfield properties, backed by our long-term secured lease structure which provides developers and their financiers with greater income certainty than traditional Hotel Management Agreements used in the sector.”

He noted that while many hotel owners were forced to close their hotels by their operators, only one of the sites closed their doors thanks to partnering with landlords to negotiate a fair outcome.

“This was important as it provided some much-needed income support for owners who still had mortgage and outgoing payments to make.

“I think the last couple of years have demonstrated the resilience of our long-term lease structure and underpinned the importance of the apartment hotel asset class in favour of traditional hotels.

“Our portfolio has demonstrated that apartments can be deployed for a multitude of uses, whether that be for medical, crisis, quarantine or traditional rental residential accommodation, whereas the traditional hotel model, like student accommodation, has proven to have limited alternate uses.”

The two Veriu hotels will be developed in partnership with PDG Corporation and GURNER respectively. Romero Group is the partner for the two new Punthill Apartment properties.

“Our focus is purely on medium to large density construction, building and retaining long-term assets with lucrative leases,” said Romero director, Jose Romero.

“The Punthill Geelong project particularly, will provide a great opportunity to capitalise on Geelong’s growing appeal to businesses looking to relocate to affordable locations that also offer attractive lifestyle outcomes.”

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