Serene Capital lists Melbourne hotel for over A$70m

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Australian fund manager Serene Capital has put the Ibis Swanston Street hotel in Melbourne on the market with price expectations of more than A$70m (US$47.9m).

The asset, which was developed six years ago, features 235 rooms, a leased cafe, restaurant and parking, according to CBRE, which is handling the listing with Colliers.

Ibis Swanston Street (image: Serene Capital)

“Many buyers are looking to introduce new hotel brands to the Melbourne market, which is driving interest in assets such as Ibis Swanston Street, which are available with vacant possession,” said CBRE Hotels senior director Scott Callow.

“The property’s prime northern CBD location will be another drawcard, with the asset located in one of Melbourne’s most in-demand precincts, offering access to tram services and the new $11bn Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel.”

The listing is expected to generate strong interest from hotel and student accommodation groups alike, with CBRE’s Callow and Wayne Bunz fielding hotel inquiries and Colliers’ Guy Wells handling student accommodation interest.

“Ibis Swanston Street is centrally located amongst many of Melbourne’s largest and most recently developed student accommodation facilities and the floorplans could easily be repositioned to suit the student accommodation sector,” noted Wells.

The property is located close to Melbourne University and RMIT in the heart of the CBD’s university district, with a surrounding student population of more than 130,000.

International investors have made some big bets on Australia’s hotel market this year, including AccorInvest’s A$300m disposal of its 23-hotel portfolio to iProsperity Group, a fund manager for Asian high net worth investors.

Earlier this year, Singapore-listed Ascott REIT purchased the 150-room Felix hotel near Sydney’s airport for A$60.6m, while AXA Investment Managers – Real Assets, the property arm of the French insurer, purchased a portfolio of four hotels in Sydney and Canberra for A$330.4m.