Melbourne investment firm's big plans after CBD hotel buy
A MELBOURNE investment company has its sights set on rejuvenating a "tired" Gladstone CBD hotel, starting with a turnaround strategy to begin early next year.
New owners of Rydges Gladstone, investment firm C2 Capital purchased the hotel last month with the vision to complete a major upgrade and makeover.
Among its plans include installing a gym and bringing back an eatery option, after the hotel's adjoining cafe closed late 2016.
Commercial real estate and hospitality specialist Kurt Braune of KBCG, who helped negotiate the sale, said the Victorian investors had already started work on a strategy for the hotel.
"The property is tired and in need of a makeover," Mr Braune said.
"There will be additional facilities in the upgrade including a gym, co-working areas and a food and beverage offering that will cater to health-conscious guests."
Mr Braune said the hotel, C2 Capital's first foray into the accommodation industry, was a "strategic acquisition" given Gladstone Region's current property market.
Increased confidence in the region played a part in the sale.
Mr Braune pointed to the gradual rise of coal exports and other projects, including the recently announced $300million high-tech abattoir by Agri Corp.
The hotel was put on the market in June by former owners Event Hospitality and Entertainment with commercial property agency CBRE Hotels.
Agents Paul Fraser and Hayley Manvell handled the sale and said it showed investors were returning to regional Queensland. CBRE's recent property review also found the region was poised to benefit from an uptick in the economy.
It found Gladstone is in the "recovery" phase, placed at 7 o'clock on the national property clock.
"We are witnessing renewed interest from investors for Regional Queensland properties, which signifies a perception that these markets have bottomed and are in a recovery phase," Ms Manvell said. Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Joe Smith said the sale could have a positive flow-on effect to nearby businesses.
"With it being upgrades within the CBD, it does have a flow-on effect to other businesses because it will hopefully bring in more foot traffic," he said.
"The flow-on effect could be quite beneficial."
Mr Smith said in the past 12 months Gladstone businesses were feeling more positive about the future.
"We've seen some put on additional employees ... and just recently we've seen quite a few new businesses open up, which is really good for the region," he said.
To continue the positive momentum Mr Smith encouraged residents to buy local.
C2 Capital's upgrades are expected to begin early 2019.
Mr Smith hoped the company would use Gladstone Region tradespeople.