GURNER ™ has unveiled it has acquired St Kilda’s Cushion Lounge in Fitzroy Street, and has submitted plans to council for its first of many ‘Club Maison’ concepts – a luxury boutique short and long-stay accommodation play similar to London and New York’s Soho House concept.
Luxury multi-billion-dollar property developer, GURNERTM has doubled down on its interests in St Kilda, confirming the acquisition of the suburb’s infamous Cushion Lounge at 99 Fitzroy Street.
Acquired off market last year, GURNERTM has appointed global architecture practice Warren and Mahoney to design what will be the first in a series of new concept hotels for the developer under the brand Club Maison – ultra-luxury boutique short and long-stay accommodation that blurs the lines between a hotel and a home.
Plans for the new hotel concept have been submitted to council this week; a six-level building that reads as just three levels from Fitzroy Street encompassing 25 rooms, multiple pool zones, and hotel and club lounge facilities, anchored by a commercial offering at ground level.
The design takes its cues from the Palazzo della Civilta Italiana in Rome and
Mondadori building in Milan, with huge arched windows lining the façade, while exposed concrete, brick and steel in repeating curvilinear forms pay homage to Fitzroy Street’s iconic buildings including The George, Brooklawn Mansion and the neighbouring St Kilda terrace homes.
GURNERTM founder and director, Tim Gurner said the Club Maison concept would become “an exciting way forward for our brand, carving out a niche in an asset class that is not strictly residential,” he said.
“ When you look at the successful business model of Soho House in London and New York, we want to take a similar approach and apply it at a local scale.
“ Our Club Maison buildings will offer discerning Australians a private club experience with long and short term stays, private and public amenity and a very big focus on world-class hospitality offerings.
“ These projects will become long-term investments for us as we look to strategically hold more assets across our portfolio into the future,” he said.
The developer confirmed it had adopted an aggressive acquisition mindset throughout 2020 and plans to acquire 12 – 15 sites of varying scale across the country within the coming 12 – 18 months.
“ We are aggressively looking for further sites as the business continues to diversify and grow,” said Gurner.
The site is located just metres from the developer’s first landmark St Kilda project, Saint Moritz, which set tongues wagging last year with its record penthouse sale and unprecedented luxury offerings.
“ Saint Moritz really re-invigorated my love for St Kilda – we are excited about the opportunities here and I believe St Kilda is really just at the beginning of a once-in-a- generation transformation.
“ We are keen to be at the forefront of this transformation and make our mark on St Kilda as a luxury bayside destination.
“ We are actively looking for more sites that fit our development model and are aiming to add at least 12 – 15 boutique and larger scale sites to our portfolio across multiple asset classes next year and beyond.
“ Our brand is evolving and we are seeking to expand our portfolio with a larger focus on diverse asset classes across retail, hotel and mixed-use that allow us to retain more of these assets long term, while continuing to build our pipeline of luxury residential offerings,” he said.
GURNER ™ has recently submitted plans to council, with construction likely to commence on the project in 2021.