The Ritz is a step closer with non-bank financier Monark Property Partners to provide funding solutions to deliver the upscale Ritz Geelong.
The 127- key apartment hotel development is what Liberman family-backed financier, Monark Property Partners is all about.
The Ritz is a stunning redevelopment of the 165- year old heritage-listed Ritz building in Geelong by experienced developer Integrated Development Solutions headed up by Phil Petch.
As the traditional banks continue to withdraw from funding property development, non-bank financier Monark is experiencing high levels of enquiry from developers seeking tailored and flexible financing solutions that enable projects to get off the ground and start construction.
The $55million project Ritz Geelong Apartment Hotel is close to 90 per cent sold with construction starting by Ireland Brown with completion expected in late 2020.
Monark co-founder Adam Slade-Jacobson says that as the property market climate has changed, so has the nature of construction funding.
“We are grateful to be in a position to provide much needed funding in a lending landscape that has seen a retreat of traditional bank lending models.
“The market has shifted to developers favouring non-bank lenders like Monark who provide greater levels of senior debt to fund construction with more flexible terms and greater certainty.
“As a result of this shift, Monark’s senior debt portfolio has more than tripled in the past two years.
“This is at a time that it is increasingly difficult for developers to meet the pre-sales hurdles required by traditional banks.”
The development of the Ritz Geelong for shortstay accommodation reflects the booming Geelong visitor economy, which now numbers more than 1.5 million overnight visitors per year with annual growth of 4.5 per cent since 2007.
This level of visitation is comparable to Darwin and exceeds Hobart’s 1.34 million, making it equal to capital cities as a tourism destination at a national level.
Experienced operator Collective Hotel Management has purchased the management rights and associated real estate for The Ritz for more than $5 million.
Michael Tozer, director of Collective Hotel Management said that he looked forward to working closely with Integrated Development Solutions to ensure a smooth transition from construction to opening in 2020.
Mr.Tozer said there is currently a clear shortage of quality accommodation in Geelong and he eagerly looks forward to opening this property.
Collective Hotel Management currently manages a portfolio of properties that include Tingirana Noosa and Noosa On the Beach, and with Ritz Geelong’s proximity to both the Waterfront and CBD, demand for this accommodation from both the corporate and leisure sector is expected to be high.
The Ritz has long been an eyesore for locals, and provoking much ire with Geelong Council, the new luxury apartment hotel project will enhance the streetscape whilst acknowledging the heritage of the 1850s hotel façade which will be retained and showcased in the entry lobby.