Mohan Du corporate image

Capital Alliance Investment Group’s founder and CEO Mohan Du writes exclusively for HM on how his developments are re-shaping Melbourne’s city skyline.

An emerging trend set to re-shape Melbourne’s city skyline will see purchasers and tourists alike benefit from greater opportunities in the rising hotel market.

Mixed-use projects that marry residential apartments and hotel rooms are becoming more prevalent in Australia’s development space as the lower Australian dollar continues to encourage growth in the international and domestic tourism market.

This is particularly occurring in Melbourne, where Capital Alliance will complete M Docklands in February, comprising 284 apartments and 87 hotel rooms as part of Peppers – Docklands’ first five star hotel.

Marriott Melbourne Docklands Capital Alliance pool render
Marriott Melbourne Docklands

We’ve also signed a deal (in December 2015) to bring the first Marriott to Australia in almost 20 years as part of a proposed apartment and hotel development above Docklands’ Harbour Town Shopping Centre. This project will feature a resort facility complete with rooftop infinity pool bar area and dining open to the public.

Some of the inspiration behind these projects comes from overseas.

In leading international cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and New York, the definition of liveability goes far beyond the perception in Australia.

Australians tend to believe an apartment is nothing more than a shoe box, while overseas the value of apartment living is centered on what’s in a building such as lifestyle amenities like rooftop pools and bars, concierge services and restaurants.

Mantra's Michael Lalli and Mohan Du
Mantra’s Michael Lalli and Mohan Du

That’s why Australia is moving towards well-designed mixed-use developments that bring hotel-like living to apartment residents. We’re finally seeing how hotels can benefit the way we live our lives – even when not travelling. It really is a value add to the building, which is quite intangible as it can sometimes be difficult to put a ‘value’ on such differentials.

Our $250 million Docklands development with the Marriott, which is subject to planning approvals, proposes approximately 200 hotel rooms and 260 residential apartments across 36 levels.

The hotel aims to bring a high level of service and leisure choices to not only guests (local and abroad) but also to permanent residents. At the same has been designed to not encroach on their privacy and enjoyment.

Peppers Docklands
Peppers Docklands

It will also offer a unique experience in Melbourne with a rooftop infinity pool, open to guests and non-guests, bringing locals and visitors an elevated retreat where they can relax with friends and take in the views of the CBD and Harbour.

We believe it will go a long way to creating vibrancy in Docklands. And this is one of the major benefits of true mix-use hotel and apartment projects – the continual energy and activation they offer precincts.

The reality of Docklands is that it is only 60 per cent completed and the full resident population isn’t living there yet. That’s why mixed-use developments are needed to activate the area 24 hours a day.

Docklands holds great promise and to reiterate; mixed-use projects will greatly contribute to its vibrancy. But they must be done with both residents and visitors in mind and the differing needs of both markets. When done with the diverse audiences in mind we believe they’re unstoppable.

For the hotel industry and residential property development, the potential that mixed use projects offer is truly exciting and will transform our cities into lively cultured hubs like New York City, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Marriott Docklands Melbourne Capital Alliance
Marriott Melbourne Docklands

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management