As we conclude the first quarter of 2023, we reflect on another interesting phase for the real estate investment market. Across the decades I’ve been in this business, we have experienced uncertainty across various market conditions, and this year is no exception. However, through all the challenges, we remain focused on unlocking and creating value for our stakeholders, expanding our portfolio, celebrating milestones, and strengthening our team.
Portfolio Growth and Milestones
We had a strong start to the year with the acquisition of a prominent property in Melbourne, which will open later this year as Hotel Indigo Melbourne on Flinders after a $20 million rebranding. This comes close on the heels of the purchase of a Sydney property in December 2022, which will rebrand as Hotel Indigo Sydney Potts Point.
We celebrated four-years since the opening of our first Holiday Inn Express in Newcastle, and two of our prized properties marked their first anniversary: Holiday Inn Express Melbourne Little Collins and Kimpton Margot Sydney. These hotels are a testament to our commitment to excellence and lead the way in sustainability, setting the stage for the next wave of Pro-invest developments.
Driving Business with Exciting Activations
Hospitality is about creating unforgettable experiences for our guests. In January, Melbourne was buzzing with excitement around the Australian Open 2023 and our hotels were in the middle of the action, offering tennis enthusiasts an unforgettable stay during the prestigious tournament.
While in February, Sydney was the center of attention with World Pride, and our hotels jumped in and got involved. Across the city we brought the celebrations into our lobbies, restaurants, bars, and team spirit! The highlight was our “Out at Margot’s” brunch at Kimpton Margot Sydney hosted at Luke’s Kitchen, which was a big hit with guests.
In late March, Earth Hour coincided with the one-year anniversary of our ESG brand, ‘One Earth, Countless Experiences’. Together, our properties and corporate teams went dark in recognition of the action we all need to take to protect our planet. This moment in time is an important and stark reminder of the positive impact we can make on the world when we work together. Something we remain focused on through the impact driven approach we have taken since we launched the company over 10 years ago. We share more on that journey in our 2022 Sustainability Report available on our website.
Our Remarkable Team
We welcomed several new colleagues to the team across Revenue, F&B, Operations and our Vista Hospitality JV. While the icing on the cake this quarter was news that both Pro-invest Group and our JV Vista Hospitality were both recognised as a Great Place To Work in Australia and New Zealand. This achievement speaks to our supportive and inclusive work environment – which is a direct result of the passion, commitment, and hard work of our incredible team members.
Our team continues to be proactive in and amongst our communities, investors, the broader industry, and partners. This quarter we met with stakeholders at AOHIS, PERE Asia, GIOHIS and MIPIM. We partnered with ANREV to host the next generation of real estate investors; shared our thoughts at the Property Council NSW’s Hotel Outlook event and Ted’s Hospitality Technology Conference, and joined leaders at the Energy & Environment Alliance in London.
I personally met with several investors and partners in the UK, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the UAE and Cannes and my message was clear – despite the challenges presented by continued interest rate rises and the more recent banking issues, we’re confident in navigating these market conditions and continue our growth trajectory.
We have the skills and experience of our in-house team, and hospitality in particular presents unique investment opportunities with robust fundamentals and strong tail winds. That being said, we’re as focused on the build-to-rent, flexible living and commercial office sectors, where we believe that good-quality assets are still in demand, with buyers across the globe eager to seize the counter-cyclical opportunity. In this economic environment the need for sustainable solutions, from a fully integrated real estate partner that creates value across the whole lifecycle, will prove as invaluable as ever.
Our progress will continue in Q2 and I look forward to sharing more as we go. In the meantime, our team is always available to discuss the market, specific opportunities for fund investment, specific assets, and broader partnerships.
Founder and Chair, Pro-invest Group
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