Accommodation company The Veriu Group has announced that it will open four new apartment hotels in Victoria over the next two years as it seeks to grow its business to become a national operator.
The group will introduce its first two Veriu Victorian hotels – Veriu Collingwood and Veriu Queen Victoria Market – later this year, while two new apartment hotels – Punthill Essendon North and Punthill Geelong – are due to open in August 2022 and May 2024 respectively.
“We are delighted to add these new properties to our existing apartment hotel portfolio,” said Veriu Group CEO Zed Sanjana.
“Each is specifically located to take advantage of important key catchment areas, which are currently relatively underserved in terms of quality business accommodation.
“Like all properties in our group, they are ideally placed to be able to offer business and leisure travelers high-end accommodation in dynamic and convenient locations.”
The new sites mark the start of what the company says will be “a period of significant expansion” for the Group. The construction of five other properties should begin in the second half of 2022, bringing the Group’s portfolio to nearly 1,320 rooms and apartments in operation or under development on 20 sites.
The Veriu Group is expected to grow by 10 additional properties by 2025.
“We see a huge opportunity to become one of the largest niche hotel operators in Australia, while maintaining a unique, localized feel to each of our properties,” Sanjana said.
“With this comes the prospect of increased business for the local communities in which we operate, and we look forward to working with local government and business stakeholders to effectively implement this infrastructure.”
Sanjana believes the Australian accommodation market has been consistently under-supplied for a number of years, particularly when it comes to high-end, design-driven apartment hotels in key corporate locations.
“We believe business travelers are increasingly looking for more unique and localized lodging experiences within these corporate hubs,” he said.
“Our network expansion aims to provide more unique and attractive accommodation options in the CBD, suburban and regional markets, in locations supported by the business travel segment, supported by business and industrial parks, universities, hospitals and major infrastructure projects.”
He says demand from the development community for the Veriu and Punthill brands continues to be strong, despite the challenges of the past two years.
“I think the past two years have demonstrated the resilience of our long-term rental structure and underpinned the importance of the aparthotel asset class in favor of traditional hotels,” he said.
“Our portfolio has demonstrated that apartments can be deployed for a multitude of uses, whether for medical, crisis, quarantine or traditional rental residences, whereas the traditional hotel model, such as student housing, has been found to have limited alternative uses.
“We have now built a very strong pipeline of new greenfield properties, supported by our secure long-term lease structure which provides developers and their financiers with greater revenue certainty than traditional hotel management agreements used in the industry. “
The first Victorian Veriu Apartment Hotel will be the 110-room Veriu Queen Victoria Market, located next to Melbourne’s iconic market. Veriu Collingwood will be a 95-room property with New York Soho-inspired architecture, while the 40-apartment Punthill Essendon North offers a mix of studios and one-bedroom apartments.
The 15-storey Punthill Geelong will be the group’s first regional offering and will comprise 80 studio apartments, designed to accommodate both solo and group business travellers.
“We are increasingly seeing the emergence of suburban and regional hubs comprising mixed-use development, combining office and coworking space, with dining, residential and retail offerings,” Sanjana said.
“We believe that short or long-term accommodation will play a vital role in serving these commercial and office hubs and will also help developers attract good quality tenants, customers and residential tenants or buyers who see the advantages of local self-reliance – confined center from the point of view of end-to-end amenities.”