Boutique accommodation operator sought for former DJs building

Iris Capital has issued an Expression of Interest to explore if there is potential for the former David Jones building to be used as a boutique accommodation hotel.

Iris Capital CEO Sam Arnaout said his vision was to develop one of the most unique boutique offerings that Newcastle has seen, while respecting the heritage of the iconic former David Jones building.

“If we can find a partner that shares our vision to create a sophisticated accommodation offer that will enhance the inner-city visitor economy and respect the surrounding heritage, we will then work through the development approval process with Council,” Mr Arnaout said.

He said having visitors in the city would create activity and vibrancy.

“We believe a boutique hotel provides an opportunity to add another element of renewal to the East End, and create a diversity that hasn’t existed in the Hunter Street Mall previously,” Mr Arnaout said.

Colliers International, acting on behalf of Iris Capital, will undertake a selection process for a 110-room luxury hotel.

“It would be unlike anything available in the city so far, in this truly iconic heritage building,” said Christopher Milou, Director of Hotels Valuations at Colliers International.

The site is in a prime position in Newcastle’s CBD with frontages to the Hunter Street Mall and Perkins Street. It lies in a precinct that has benefited from a $650 million injection of Government funds to rejuvenate the city centre.

“Colliers will approach experienced boutique hotel operators and we expect strong levels of interest from a select group operators,” Mr Milou said.

“Currently, there is no true luxury boutique hotel operating in the Newcastle market that captures the essence of area, its history and its growing cosmopolitan feel and we believe that the characteristics of the heritage building teamed with an experienced operator would fill this void.”

Expressions of Interest for the hotel operating agreement close on April 3. 


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Christopher Milou

National Director | Valuation & Advisory Services

Sydney CBD

I have been involved in the real estate industry for over 18 years and commenced my career at L.J Hooker. After graduating from a Bachelor of Property Economics Degree in 2004, I took up a position with the NSW Department of Commerce valuing a number of government owned assets across the state of NSW.

​In 2007, I joined the Colliers Hotels & Leisure Valuation team where I had the opportunity to value a wide cross section of accommodation and leisure type properties, across Australia. In March 2009, I transferred to the Colliers South Sydney team and have been involved in a cross section of commercial, industrial and residential properties, along with the opportunity to value various types of 'Going Concern' properties including hotels, budget accommodation, student accommodation, boarding houses and car parks facilities.

In 2013, I transferred to the Sydney CBD office, where my primary focus is hotels, student accommodation, backpackers and other accommodation properties.

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