Pro-Invest breaks Sunshine Coast development drought

Pro-Invest breaks Sunshine Coast development drought

19 July 2019

The Sunshine Coast will get its first new hotel in decades after fund manager, developer and operator Pro-invest said it would open a new Holiday Inn Express in Maroochydore at end of 2020.

The nine-storey, 167-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites will form a key part of the $2.1 billion Maroochydore Town Centre development featuring 150,000 square metres of commercial space as well as retail and high- and medium-density residential development across a 53 hectare site.

Pro-Invest, an investment and development company, said it will finance, develop and operate the hotel as the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, which it plans to launch around the same time as the new internationally-capable runway at Sunshine Coast Airport.

The last new hotel developed on the Sunshine Coast was the Novotel Twin Waters in the 1980s, and prior to that the now closed Coolum Resort owned by Clive Palmer.

A new five-star Westin Hotel at Yaroomba Beach, developed by Japan’s Sekisui House, is due to be completed in 2021 after securing approval in June last year following a lengthy battle with local residents.

Demand for new hotels is likely to grow with the rise of the Sunshine Coast as a tourism destination.

The region ranked third most popular regional destination last year, according to a Colliers International Report and has also enjoyed a 20 per cent increase in visitor spending.

The federal government’s latest National Visitor Survey reveals record tourist numbers for the Sunshine Coast, with domestic visitor expenditure growing 22.7 per cent and visitor numbers up 15 per cent in the year to March.

While hotel developments have been proposed for the Sunshine Coast in recent years, Pro-Invest chief executive Ronald Barrott said they were still “a long way from being realised”.

“Investment for the Sunshine Coast hotel will come from Pro-Invest’s Australian Hospitality Opportunity Fund II, with Pro-Invest responsible for the construction, launch and management of the hotel.

“This has enabled us to be agile and deliver hotels in relatively short time-spans,” Barrott said.

Pro-Invest negotiated the hotel site acquisition from the Sunshine Coast Council and Economic Development Queensland.