They hope to benefit from economies of scale and to have a hotel that shares the maintenance costs. For the promoter, the injection of cash from the sale of apartments makes it possible to obtain bank financing guarantees for the construction of the hotel element.
It is a model that has worked well elsewhere. One Hyde Park in London: The Residences, part of the Mandarin Oriental chain, completed construction in 2011 and its six-bedroom penthouse broke all UK ownership records selling for $ 236 million. The company is now opening other residences in New York, Beverley Hills and Barcelona.
The Ritz-Carlton also has homes around the world, with more projects to come, while more are underway under the names of Waldorf Astoria and Conrad. Between 2010 and 2020, the real estate agency Savills estimates that the number of serviced apartments has more than doubled worldwide, with 370 developments added.
Australia took the plunge in 2000 with the Gold Coast’s Palazzo Versace – a 200-room hotel with 72 neighboring condos – but it’s only recently that the trend has started to take off.
In Sydney, 80% of the 76 Crown Residences at One Barangaroo – which are on levels 31 to 71 and coexist with 349 hotel rooms – have sold for around $ 1.1 billion, while Melbourne is on the verge of selling. ‘have its first international branded hotel. apartments.
At the same time, a double tower with a hotel and apartments is sold on the plan on the Gold Coast, and many other such companies are now in the planning stage.
“It’s all about lifestyle choices and brand recognition,” says Erin van Tuil, partner at Knight Frank Australia, whose recent Resizing report 2022 place domestic buyers’ appetite for branded homes at 44%, well above the global average of 39%.
“People want the convenience of accessing services and amenities, and regaining the time to enjoy life.
“If you want housekeeping to give you a turndown service, or fresh flowers put in your house, or your stocked wine fridge, or a midnight Caesar salad or a dog walker, then all of these things can be organized.
“We expect this to happen more in Australia in the future, with the pandemic making people want an even more convenient lifestyle.”
In Melbourne, the construction of Australia’s first 1 Hotel, a subsidiary of the Starwood hotel group, in Docklands started this month. It will have 277 rooms and 123 apartments for sale as part of the $ 500 million Seafarers enclosure.
“It’s actually very similar to Barangaroo residences but ours is an international hotel brand,” said David Lee, director of development at Riverlee Developers. “There are so many perks at a branded hotel residence, with access to these luxury amenities and services and 140 hotel employees right on your doorstep.
“It’s like living in a hotel but in the privacy of your own home. Residents pay only 32 percent of the building’s running costs, so the hotel subsidizes their costs. It’s a win-win for everyone.
On the waterfront at Burleigh Heads, the 83 private Mondrian Gold Coast tower block residences will be serviced by the neighboring five-star hotel with 208 rooms. Both will be part of the Accor group and should be completed by mid-2023.
In most of them, the quarterly apartment strata charges cover access to building facilities and some services, such as concierge, but extras are paid through monthly billing or subscriptions.
While such a high level of service usually doesn’t come cheap, the apartment hotel trend may also be fueled by visions of the glamor of celebs permanently residing in hotels of the past.
These include legends such as fashion designer Coco Chanel living at the Ritz in Paris, Irish actor Richard Harris at the Savoy Hotel in London, Spanish artist Salvador Dali at El Palace Barcelona and American business mogul Howard Hughes at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas.
For Crown Group developers, it was this promise of glamor and prestige that led them to combine residential hotels with SKYE Suites in CBD Arc by Crown, Infinity by Crown in Green Square and V by Crown in Parramatta.
“We always thought it was beneficial for the residents of our apartments to have a little bit of commerce downstairs, but then we went to Los Angeles and Asia and looked at hotels that fit in with the residences,” explains Prisca Edwards, director of the Crown group. Sales.
“Residents love to be connected to a hotel brand that enhances the value of a building. You have access to all types of lifestyle amenities, and the visiting family can stay in the suites. The offer ends on a different level, with so much luxury and convenience.
In keeping with this fad, and to mimic that hotel feel, some new apartment developments are now pushing the boundaries with their service options.
In North Sydney, developer Aqualand’s $ 1 billion, 389-apartment Aura project will have a concierge service managed by its new hotel arm Etymon, which will also manage the service of the developer’s previous project, Blue at Lavender Bay in Milsons Point. , as well as a cafe, restaurant, bakery and supplier in Aura.
“It’s going to be different from the other apartment concierge services around Sydney; it’s a lot more like hotel concierge and lifestyle management, ”says Lisa Hobbs, CEO of Etymon.
“It was a real selling point with Blue and that’s part of Aura’s appeal as well. This style of service is quite well known in New York and Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and we believe this is a trend that will start to occur over time here as well.
The different levels of service, from the regular stratum style to the annual subscription or user-pay model, could include travel itineraries, event planning and reservations, restaurant reservations and dog grooming, up to the organization of rounds of golf.
Another company, Scarisbrick International, was set up specifically to create a “six star lifestyle” in apartment buildings. It already operates in Malaysia, France and the Philippines, and now comes to Australia for the development of Melbourne Yarra One in South Yarra, and is exploring opportunities in Sydney.
“Particularly after COVID, people are very interested in living in a bubble and wanting whatever is available to them at home, without having to go out, because they also work from home,” said the spokesperson for Scarisbrick. , Geoff Harrison.
“People want to have services available at home 24/7 at the push of a button on an app – from medical help to collecting groceries, to math lessons to their kids or cleaning their shoes at 3 a.m.
“I think the pandemic has made everyone rethink their lives, and now more and more people are asking, ‘Why can’t I have a house that looks more like a resort? And now they can.
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