Private Australian developer Perri Projects has announced a strategic diversification into the commercial hotel market with plans to launch a boutique luxury hotel, restaurant and event space in South Melbourne.

The site – located on the prominent corner of Moray and Dorcas Street – was recently granted a planning permit by the City of Port Phillip Council. The developer first purchased the initial 700sqm site in 2005 and then quietly acquired an additional two adjoining sites over the next few years.

“The move into the boutique hotel space is closely aligned with our brand and business strategy; we have been working towards this for the past three years,” said Perri Projects Managing Director, David Scalzo.

“More than a hotel, we envisage this mixed-use development to be a lifestyle destination in South Melbourne including retail, food and beverage, and a rooftop function and events centre,” he said.

Scalzo said South Melbourne had always appealed to the developer as a prime location for a boutique hotel, given its proximity to all of Melbourne’s major tourism drivers.


“South Melbourne is an emerging precinct, and ideally located at the doorstep of the CBD and nearby to all the tourism and business markers that drive demand for a luxury hotel such as the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, AAMI Park, and all the major sporting precincts and freeway networks,” he said.

“There is a distinct lack of new, luxury hotel offerings in this area. The majority of existing hotel stock around St Kilda Road and South Melbourne is now ageing considerably so we’ve identified a real gap in the market for quality, bespoke hotels for business and high-end leisure travellers,” Scalzo said.

The hotel, designed by national award-winning practice, Plus Architecture, will boast three street frontages that incorporate extensive ground-floor amenity in the form of a café/restaurant and bar.

“Anchored to the corner of Moray and Dorcas Street, the façade was imagined as a collection of crystalline blocks in which gritty concrete frames are juxtaposed with vapour-like glazing to create a dream-like presence,” said Plus Architecture Director, Ian Briggs.

Inside, the hotel will cater to a largely business premium market with larger-than-average premium suites along with a pool, gym and business centre and a focus on high-end interiors and local designer and supplier collaborations.


The developer’s diversification into hotels is part of a broader strategy to increase its asset portfolio within its existing development projects and invest in long-term income-producing assets, said Scalzo.

“Our current strategy is to develop and retain a significant portfolio of the retail and commercial facilities in our mixed-use master-planned developments so we view investing in hotels as an extension of that,” he said.

“By retaining ownership of these assets we are committed to the area long-term and driven to deliver a superior design and commercial outcome for the sites we own and manage.

“The level of investment from our end is substantially more than a typical development site but the outcomes are also far greater in terms of being able to create precincts that make a discernible contribution to the environments in which they sit.

“We are long-term investors in South Melbourne and we support the council’s vision for the area to transform it into a local tourist and creative business hub.

“Perri Projects is in early discussions with some of Australia’s premium hospitality groups for partnerships in the restaurant and functions centre. We’re looking at only the best operators to reinforce the sophistication of the precinct,” Scalzo said.

He said Perri Projects would look to acquire further commercially-zoned hotel sites in the coming years as well as deliver boutique hotel offerings within its master-planned projects throughout Melbourne and Brisbane.

Perri Projects currently has over $3 billion in projects under management across the eastern seaboard of Australia including the $600 million South City Square regeneration precinct in Woolloongabba, a $500 million West Melbourne Waterfront urban renewal project on the Maribyrnong River and its $102 million Albert Tower in South Melbourne.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management