With Brisbane’s demand for tourism and business accommodation bounding ahead we’re now seeing an interesting industry ‘takeover’. In a $7million deal Oaks Hotels and Resorts has bought the management rights to the new “Charlotte Towers” and its 416 apartments in the CBD. Corporate managers of the larger apartment buildings aren’t unusual but the move to effectively convert buildings designed for long term residents into short stay accommodation is raising a few eyebrows.
The Oaks Group is the most visible operator with this latest acquisition now its 5th in Brisbane’s CBD: it recently added the 253 apartment “Felix” and the 136 apartment “212 On Margaret” to its portfolio.
The move should be no surprise: Brisbane’s hotel room supply is not keeping up and the cost and lead time to build a new one means tempting existing apartment owners is the best option. But where do the long term tenants go? And how do the owner-residents feel about sharing their lift with holiday-makers? Brisbane’s own residents who’ve moved to the city heart in recent years, along with the very strong international student market are now been forced further afield. We’re seeing a clear trend to city fringe areas with stronger than usual demand for suburbs like South Brisbane, Toowong and Newstead.
The final irony? Many of this city’s older hotels and studio apartments are being used for permanent accommodation, often with 2-3 students occupying one small room in a bid to save money! So where now for the budget hotel guests!?