Pro-invest Group and IHG launch Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants in Australia with 2021 Sydney debut

Wednesday 5 May 2021, Sydney, Australia: After years of anticipation, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants will arrive in Australia in 2021, with IHG Hotels & Resorts and Pro-invest Group planning to convert and reposition Sydney’s Primus Hotel as Kimpton Sydney.

As the industry pioneer that first introduced the boutique concept in the US in 1981, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is renowned for its signature heartfelt service and creating guest experiences that foster genuine human connections. Today, its playful brand philosophy is celebrated worldwide, delivered through thoughtful perks and amenities, inventive meetings and events, distinctive, design-forward interiors, and lifestyle elements including the nightly Social Hour.

As a heritage-listed 1930s Art Deco revival of inter-war period architecture, and a history as the former Sydney Water Board Building, the Primus Sydney property almost sings with Kimpton personality. Its bold design, iconic red columns and boutique luxury personality will embody the brand perfectly and, once it has completed the revamp of its lobby, guest rooms and F&B, it will be undoubtedly a brand-defining flagship product for the region.

Kimpton Sydney will open this October with 172 unique design led rooms and suites, a rooftop swimming pool, conference and event spaces that are bathed in natural daylight, as well as a range of innovative culinary experiences that are built on Kimpton’s legacy of locally loved restaurants – including a lobby bar, rooftop restaurant and a café.

The brand’s lifestyle programming – part of Kimpton’s DNA – will be delivered through various complimentary experiences that can include: a morning kickstart coffee and tea, yoga lessons, bike rentals, and Kimpton’s iconic Social Hour – where the brand’s vision to enable human connections comes to life as guests mingle with locals over complimentary wines in the evening. Furry, four-legged friends are also welcome, with Kimpton’s pet-friendly approach and dialled-up pet offerings (“If it fits in the elevator, come on in!”)  

Leanne Harwood, IHG’s Managing Director – Australasia, Japan & Pacific, said: “I can’t tell you how excited we are to finally bring the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants brand to Australia. We are very mindful of how special the Kimpton brand is, and that’s why it’s been so important to us that we only bring it to market with the right owner and when we have the perfect property to bring it to life. The Primus Sydney property oozes Kimpton character, as soon as we saw it, we knew it had to wear the Kimpton badge, and we are so glad Pro-invest agrees and has put its full weight behind the brand.”

“We are so proud to have such a great long-term partnership with Pro-invest that already includes 13 open or pipeline hotels across three IHG brands, and we look forward to continuing that growth together.”

Jan Smits, Co-CEO at Pro-invest, “Such a uniquely beautiful and historic hotel called for a brand that would bring the guest experience to life, and as each Kimpton hotel is a hotel-of-one, individually designed to blend the surrounding environment with local culture, offering guests an authentic and playful experience, we knew it was the right choice.”

IHG and Pro-invest have a long partnership that started with Pro-invest opening Australia’s first Holiday Inn Express in Sydney’s Macquarie Park in 2016. Since then, the portfolio has grown to include 7 Holiday Inn Express branded hotels and, together, they are expanding the partnership to include new brands, with 6 hotels in the pipeline under the voco, Hotel Indigo, Holiday Inn Express and now Kimpton brands.

Kimpton sits apart from the stereotypical CBD luxury hotel mould, and the trendy midtown precinct location of the Sydney hotel is the perfect fit for Kimpton’s guest profile – with the State Theatre and Capitol Theatre both a stone’s throw away, along with the heritage-listed QVB retail precinct, performing arts centres and International Convention Centre.

The Kimpton brand has been growing rapidly around the world over recent years, with 73 Kimpton Hotels now open globally and 32 in the pipeline. Australia is the newest market for the brand, continuing the recent growth trajectory with hotels opening around the world.

IHG Hotels & Resorts currently has 60 hotels operating under six brands in Australasia, including InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, voco, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, with another 35 in the pipeline, including Kimpton.

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Media Enquiries:   

Chris Waite   

Director of Communications, Australasia & Japan   

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)   

Tel: +61 438 943 562   


Karena Noble

PR Consultant

Pro-invest Group

Tel: +61 418 912 162


Pro-invest Group launches Distressed Hospitality Fund to capitalise on the opportunity created by COVID-19

Sydney, Australia – Pro-invest Group, a global asset manager and investment firm specialising in private equity real estate and real estate asset management, today announced the launch of the Pro-invest Asia-Pacific Distressed Hospitality Fund (“Fund III”). Unprecedented market conditions created by COVID-19 have created an opportunity to make value-add investments into standing and income producing assets primarily in luxury, upper-upscale and upscale full-service hotels in Australia and New Zealand, as well as other secure markets in Asia.

Pro-invest Group is currently managing more than USD $2 billion in real estate assets, including commercial assets as well as hotels operating under globally renowned brands such as Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo and vocoTM.

“The strength of this offering is underpinned by the unique structure of the Pro-invest Group.  Our integrated hospitality platform combines the opportunity for investors to tap into opportunities with our in-house team of experts in refurbishment/development, active asset management and day-to-day hotel operations to drive maximum returns,” said Ronald Barrott, Pro-invest Group Chairman and Co-CEO. 

While all three Pro-invest funds are hospitality-focused, Fund III is structured to capitalise on the current opportunity, presenting a platform that allows investors to participate in travel recovery. Pro-invest is targeting to raise AUD$500 million from institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds and established family offices.

“We are going through a period of significant economic and social disruption, but we remain confident that this is a temporary ‘bump in the road’ for the hospitality sector.  In this time of operational difficulty, we see considerable repositioning potential – particularly for distressed assets in the full-service hotels segments – and Pro-invest is well positioned to optimise these opportunities,” said Pro-invest Managing Partner Dr Sabine Schaffer.

Fund III will also include opportunistic investment targets outside of Australia and New Zealand, specifically Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. In addition to the Group’s usual mid-scale focus, Fund III is also looking at opportunities within the full-service segments, as luxury, upper-upscale and upscale hotel assets typically experience higher revenue declines during market disruption and enjoy above-average growth during market recovery.

“Fifteen years in the Asia Pacific Region, most recently as CEO Asia, Middle East and Africa for IHG, gives us further insight into where opportunities in the current market will present themselves,” said Jan Smits, Pro-invest Deputy Chair and Co-CEO.

Fund III will focus on acquiring hotels in markets with high barriers to entry and attractive supply/demand fundamentals. While the Fund’s investment strategy is not reliant on distressed opportunities but its traditional value-add investment strategy, the possibility to acquire assets below replacement cost in the wake of the current hospitality disruption may provide further upside for investors.

To tap into these distressed opportunities, Fund III has the flexibility to invest by providing debt to distressed borrowers in addition to usual equity investments.

Similar to the hotels deployed under Fund I and II, Fund III’s hotel portfolio will feature industry-leading ESG practices and sustainability commitments.


Pro-invest commences construction on Holiday Inn Express and Suites Sunshine Coast

Pro-invest Group, a global investment firm specialising in private equity real estate and real estate asset management, commences construction on Holiday Inn Express & Suites Sunshine Coast in the heart of the new Maroochydore CBD.

Pro-invest Co-CEO Jan Smits said the new nine story hotel on First Avenue, Maroochydore will feature 181 rooms, a roof-top swimming pool, bar and dining venue, conference and function facilities, parking and ground-level retail space.

“We believe Holiday Inn Express & Suites Sunshine Coast is a great addition to Maroochydore, particularly as the region transitions from a largely leisure-based to a more diversified market with major growth in businesses establishing themselves in the city centre to take advantage of the large-scale infrastructure projects currently underway,” said Pro-Invest Group Co-CEO Jan Smits.

“The Holiday Inn Express brand is ideal for the destination as its midscale positioning will make it highly-suitable for targeting business, meetings and leisure travellers,” said Mr Smits.

Pro-invest and IHG Hotels & Resorts have enjoyed a highly successful partnership in Australasia over the last decade, with 11 Holiday Inn Express hotels open or in the pipeline, as well as two voco hotels in Auckland and Brisbane as well as a Hotel Indigo in Brisbane, all of which will open later this year.

“In alignment with our commitment to sustainability the hotel had been designed to achieve a 5 star NABERS rating, making it the first hotel on the Sunshine Coast to achieve this,’ said Mr Smits.

National construction company Minicon have been engaged to undertake the construction scheduled for May 2022.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said Pro-invest’s commitment was another vote of confidence in the Maroochydore City Centre and the Sunshine Coast.

“Our Council is very pleased to see this project come out of the ground, at a time when we are encouraging opportunities to support the recovery of our tourism and hospitality industries.

“This project will provide a significant economic boost to the region with up to 1500 people working on the project during construction as well as 30 full and part time staff employed when the hotel is operational.

“Holiday Inn Express & Suites Sunshine Coast will be an important part of the Maroochydore CBD precinct and will offer brand new, quality hotel accommodation in the heart of our region’s new city centre,” Cr Jamieson said.

SunCentral Maroochydore Chief Executive Officer John Knaggs said the development is the fourth major construction project to have commenced within the first stage of the Maroochydore CBD.

“There’s multiple tower cranes and hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of investment currently underway within the Maroochydore CBD, it’s a real hive of activity and it is pleasing to see so many tradespeople and suppliers working onsite each day to create a lasting legacy for future generations,” Mr Knaggs said.


Media information: Karena Noble, Pro-invest Group | Mobile 0418912162 |

Pro-invest purchases luxury PRIMUS Sydney hotel in landmark transaction

Global investment firm Pro-invest has acquired the luxury 5-star Primus Hotel in the first significant hotel transaction since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic following an intensely fought competitive sale process managed by JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group. The purchase, which completes in August, was negotiated through JLL Hotels Managing Director Mark Durran.

“We are delighted with this purchase as it represents Pro-invest’s first hotel in the Sydney CBD as well as our first property in the luxury sector,” said Pro-invest Chairman Mr Ronald Barrott.

Located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD on the corner of Pitt and Bathurst Streets, the Primus hotel is a stunning revival of inter-war period architecture by design firm Woods Bagot with original features such as the grand eight-metre-high scagliola columns and panelled sky light in the lobby that were restored to their 1930s Art Deco glory in 2015. The hotel features 172 luxury guest rooms and suites together with a lobby bar, restaurant, roof top bar and swimming pool with 480 sqm of conference space and a gymnasium.

“The Pro-invest team identified the Primus, with its inventory of large guest rooms and suites and expansive lobby, as an exceptional opportunity to rebrand and reposition the hotel towards an upscale lifestyle hospitality offering,” said Pro-invest Co-CEO Jan Smits. “Pro-invest’s vertical hospitality platform gives us a real advantage as it enables us to seamlessly re-position and operate this unique asset with our expert in-house team,” said Jan.

Greenland Australia Managing Director Mr Sherwood Luo said, “Greenland remains committed to the Australian market and its extensive pipeline of local development projects. We have a forecast investment pipeline of $3 Billion in Australian commercial and residential property projects including our current projects Greenland Centre Sydney and our joint venture with GH Australia-Park Sydney located in inner city Erskinville,” said Mr Luo.

The sale of this multi award winning hotel comes as developer Greenland Australia nears completion in coming months of its adjoining Greenland Centre tower, Sydney CBDs tallest residential building of which 95% of the apartments have been sold over the past seven years with settlements occurring over the next few months.

Despite the industry’s current challenging operating environment there is no shortage of local and offshore capital seeking to invest in high quality major hotel opportunities.  “The strong interest fielded in this exceptional hotel asset reflects a huge vote of investor confidence in the Sydney hotel markets long term fundamentals as well Australia’s enduring appeal as a visitor destination and its status as an investment safe haven,” said Mark.

“The future Pitt St underground metro station adjacent to the hotel and the George St light rail is close by, whilst further south the emerging technology hub around central station is set to be a catalyst for the revitalisation of the hotels surrounding precinct,” said Mark.


Media enquiry

Karena Noble, PR Lead, Pro-invest | Mobile 0418 912 162

Pro-invest | ANREV Hotel Sustainability Event

During December 2019, Pro-invest collaborated with ANREV to host an End of Year Event, bringing together industry leaders to discuss the all-important matter of sustainability efforts for the hotel asset class.

With a well-versed and diversified panel featuring representatives from Pro-invest Group, ANREV, CEFC and NABERS, the evernt was highly successful. The session covered hotel development and operations, sustainability and investor relations, discussing how hotels are increasingly gaining traction on institutional investors’ radars, the importance of incorporating sustainability initiatives into hotels and continuously striving for enhanced energy efficiency, coupled with investor due diligence and regulatory change within this space.

To view the panel discussion of the Pro-invest | ANREV End of Year Event, please click the link below.

Click here to view the Video

Holiday Inn Express Melbourne Southbank – Pop Up Event

Prior to the hotel opening later this month, Pro-invest Group’s latest hotel, Holiday Inn Express Melbourne Southbank showcased an activation Pop-Up event in the CBD of Melbourne last Friday 6 December to 10,000+ people with live interactions, social playground, competitions and signature cupcakes, all filmed on a digital billboard overlooking Federation Square.

Click here to view the highlights!

Industry News: The Hotelization of Real Estate

Published by PERE, one of the world’s leading private equity real estate research houses, ‘The Hotelization of Real Estate’ delves into how real estate assets unrelated to the travel and hospitality industry have progressively been adopting the characteristics of the hotel sector.

The publication looks into how the landlord-tenant relationship is shifting following the rise of the working and lifestyle preferences of millennials, causing landords to tailor their asset offering in adopting a trend coined as the ‘hotelization’.

Click here for the publication

A Preqin & Pro-invest Report: The Global Appeal of Hospitality Real Estate

Pro-invest Group is proud to announce having partnered with Preqin for the publishing of The Global Appeal of Hospitality Real Estate: A Preqin & Pro-invest Report.

The report delves into how hospitality is moving into the mainstream within the real estate market, with rising levels of international tourism driving opportunities for investment. This rings true for the select service hotel market which demonstrates greater resiliency to economic downturns relative to other hotel segments, and presents as a fast-growing segment within the hospitality industry.

Funds targeting hospitality assets have been top performers among recent private real estate vintages, outperforming public benchmarks, as per Preqin research. For a detailed analysis of investment strategies, capital flows, industry performance and more, please click here to read the report.