New $50 million hotel in South Melbourne to be an Ovolo

Hong Kong designer hotel operator Ovolo has been appointed to manage Perri Project's $50 million South Melbourne hotel.

Ovolo will bring its "effortless living" ethos to the 100 room, six-storey luxury hotel. Think conveniently located powerpoints and Ovolo's trademark freebies such as free minibars, snacks and happy hour.

Located at 183-199 Moray Street, Perri Projects acquired the initial 700-square-metre site in 2005 before adding two adjoining sites over the following years.

Construction will begin this year, with the site to open in 2020. The "mixed use" precinct will include destination bars and restaurants, and leisure, event and function facilities.

The project is part of an anticipated boost to Melbourne's hotel numbers in the next few years.

Three thousand new hotel rooms were created in Melbourne between June 2015 and 2018, but the number of rooms is set to soar over the next five years. Developments totalling 11,576 new rooms are now under construction or have received planning approval in the city of Melbourne alone.

In particular, new properties from international hotel groups are on the rise. Melbourne's first Ritz Carlton will open in 2021 across the road from Southern Cross Station. Partnering with Hong Kong developers Far East Consortium, it will feature 263 luxury rooms and a 500-seat grand ballroom.

The Marriott's W Hotel, catering for a younger demographic, is set to launch in the CBD in 2020, and this year will see the opening of the Marriott's Element Melbourne Richmond Hotel and Thai-owned Shama Luxe Aurora in the CBD.

"International hotels are showing significant confidence in the Melbourne tourism market," says a Visit Victoria spokesperson.

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David Scalzo, managing director of Perri Projects, says Ovolo's international track-record for delivering innovative, design-led destination hotel concepts that emphasise lifestyle aligned with Perri Projects' vision for the site.

The project represents Ovolo's first sole hotel management agreement. The private company owns and operates four hotels in Hong Kong and six in Australia.

Ovolo says it is looking to cater to South Melbourne's changing demographic of higher-end established housing and major commercial office buildings.

"The underlying demographic of South Melbourne has been evolving steadily as creative industries in particular look to take advantage of the central location and raw industrial edge the suburb has to offer," says Dave Baswal, COO and CFO of Ovolo Australia.

"But while the suburb is on the rise with those in the know, local hospitality amenity has not kept pace with this change and we believe Ovolo South Melbourne ... will be uniquely placed to provide a focal point for those local communities."

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