During 2014, Urban Melbourne delivered a synopsis of Melbourne's burgeoning hotel scene.
At that stage roughly 5,000 new hotel suites were on the radar, across a variety of dedicated and mixed-use projects. Over the proceeding three years, Melbourne's hotel sector has gone from strength to strength on the back of extremely strong (and predominantly Chinese-driven) tourist growth and an ever strong events calendar; so much so that the number of hotel suites in development has nearly doubled.
Greater Melbourne is now subject to 9,500 new hotel suites; this figure does not include recent builds that have reached completion, indicating that developers still see massive upswing in the Melbourne hotel boom.
Via our Project Database, 45 separate projects are in motion which include hotel suites, as opposed to serviced apartments which are categorised separately and will be subject to a different analysis piece. To be precise, the Project Database's is tracking 9,499 separate hotel suites at varying stages of development.
By no means is it an absolute figure, but we believe it to be the most up to date and complete figure publicly available.
Of the 9,499, 1,594 or 17% are under construction while 2066 or 21% are at planning. The balance of 5,899 or 62% of all hotel suites Urban Melbourne is tracking are deemed to be either approved or committed to by an operator, but have yet to begin construction.
This figure alone suggests that Melbourne hotel boom has some time yet to run, particularly from a delivery perspective.
Of the 45 projects in play, 20 are listed as developments dedicated solely to hotel use, with the largest purely hotel project being 399 Little Lonsdale Street which is under construction. Its 478 suites will be split between operators Ibis and Novotel.
Conversely the remaining 25 projects being tracked have multiple uses, of which a hotel component is one. Southbank's massive Melbourne Square project is the largest with approval for 621 suites, while SP Setia's Sapphire by the Gardens has the largest operator commitment to date with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts recently signing on for 500 suites.
Naturally of the 9,499 suites, the majority are within City of Melbourne's boundaries.
1,961 suites in development are beyond City of Melbourne, with Box Hill the most active suburb accounting for 450 rooms across three projects; this figure will invariably rise as additional projects filter through City of Whitehorse. As a zone, Melbourne's north is also faring will with multiple hotel projects in development as evidenced by last week's announcement that Mantra would operate a new Epping site with 214 rooms.
Shifting back toward Melbourne's epicentre, and the CBD/Southbank combination is the clear favourite among hotel developers and operators. Urban Melbourne is tracking 3,547 suites across the CBD and 2,468 across Southbank respectively.
A very healthy percentage of these rooms in development spanning the CBD and Southbank have recently signed on operators, with new brands such as Mandarin Oriental, Ritz Carlton and Shangri-La joining in on Melbourne's hotel boon.