Australian developer Perri Projects has appointed designer and hotel owner/operator Ovolo Hotels as hotel manager for its AUD$50 million (approx. US$35.9 million) South Melbourne project, expected to open in 2020. This will be the first hotel management agreement for Ovolo, which currently wholly owns and operates 10 hotels across Australia and Hong Kong.
Ovolo's appointment represents a significant milestone for the 100-room project, which already has received planning approval, with construction anticipated to begin in third-quarter 2019.
David Scalzo, managing director of Perri Projects, said in a statement that Ovolo was a "perfect match" for Perri Projects' vision for the site. "We are delighted to partner with Ovolo to realize our original vision for this site as a mixed-use lifestyle precinct featuring destination bars and restaurants, as well as leisure, event and function facilities," Scalzo said.
Girish Jhunjhnuwala, Ovolo CEO and founder, said Ovolo in South Melbourne represented a new phase of growth for the company, made possible through a shared vision with Perri Projects. "The hotel management agreement with Perri Projects represents a natural evolution for our business as we continually look to expand our offering in new markets," he said.
Dave Baswal, COO and CFO of Ovolo Australia, said he was confident the South Melbourne property would fit in well with the growing pool of established higher-end established housing and major commercial office buildings. "The underlying demographic of South Melbourne has been evolving steadily as creative industries in particular look to take advantage of the central location and raw industrial edge the suburb has to offer," Baswal continued. "But while the suburb is on the rise, local hospitality...has not kept pace with this change, and we believe Ovolo South Melbourne—with its bars, restaurants and even a rooftop function and events space—will be uniquely placed to provide a focal point for those local communities."