Cen­tral suc­cess

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor - by Martin Rasini martin. rasini@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

AC­COM­MO­DA­TION fa­cil­i­ties man­ager Q Re­sorts is boost­ing its in­vest­ment in Townsville’s $ 400 mil­lion in­ner-city Cen­tral pro­ject with pur­chase of man­age­ment rights to the yet-to­built $ 17 mil­lion Kens­ing­ton build­ing.

The pur­chase, for an undis­closed sum, fol­lows ac­qui­si­tion by Q Re­sorts of rights to Cen­tral’s ear­lier s t a g e s , I s l i n g t o n a n d Hol­born, in which it op­er­ates a let­ting pool of 159 ser­viced apart­ments.

It comes as the busi­ness recorded 80 per cent oc­cup a n c y r a t e s a t t h e 95-apart­ment Is­ling­ton, and a first-month oc­cu­pancy rate of 90 per cent at the 78-apart­ment Hol­born.

Cen­tral is be­ing de­vel­oped with part­ners by Townsville’s Hon­ey­combes Prop­erty Group on a 6.5ha site on Flin­ders St West.

The 10-level Kens­ing­ton, w i t h 4 4 o n e a n d t w o - bed­room units, re­ceived coun­cil ap­proval ear­lier this month and is to be l aunched within weeks, with apart­ments ex­pected to be priced from $ 295,000.

Q Re­sorts man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Rob Mclean said the Kens­ing­ton in­vest­ment re­flected Townsville’s strong and di­verse eco­nomic base, in­clud­ing gov­ern­ment, def ence, min­ing and ed­u­ca­tion and the solid per­for­mance of Cen­tral.

‘‘ We opened Hol­born at the end of Fe­bru­ary and ex­pected a 60 per cent occu-

ON A HIGH: Rob Mclean at the Hol­born build­ing of the Cen­tral de­vel­op­ment pancy rate for March, only to find the rate soared well be­yond that to 90 per cent,’’ Mr Mclean said. ‘‘ While the re­sult took us by sur­prise, it isn’t an anom­aly. Oc­cu­pancy rates in Is­ling­ton are up five points on last year to 80 per cent.’’

Mr Mcl e a n , who wi l l s pend t hree months i n Townsville bed­ding down the Hol­born busi­ness and ap­point­ing a man­ager, said the typ­i­cal guest was staying for be­tween two and seven nights and book­ing well in ad­vance.

‘‘ With Townsville’s tourist sea­son about to start and a full calendar of ma­jor events from now to Septem­ber, we are con­fi­dent oc­cu­pancy rates will re­main con­sis­tent or per­haps ex­ceed cur­rent lev­els,’’ he said.

Mr Mclean said Cen­tral’s self-con­tained apart­ments pro­vided a home away from home for busi­ness trav­ell e r s , o f f - r o s t e r mi n e r s , hol­i­day­mak­ers and fam­i­lies vis­it­ing Townsville.

He said the ad­di­tion of Kens­ing­ton’s 44 apart­ments would en­able Q Re­sorts to meet ex­pand­ing de­mand, in line with growth of the city, and would not be the com­pany’s last in­vest­ment in Townsville.

‘‘ We have great faith in the fu­ture of Townsville and will be look­ing to ac­quire rights to ad­di­tional ac­com­mo­da­tion down the track,’’ he said. ‘‘ Our view is that buoy­ancy in the Townsville mar­ket will en­able us to add 100 apart­ments apart­ments or more to our port­fo­lio in the city over the next few years.’’

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