Peppers Airlie Beach resort.
Peppers Airlie Beach resort.

Whitsundays resort on the market

ONE of the Whitsundays prominent mainland resorts is on the market through receivers for the second time in two years.

The Peppers Airlie Beach resort in north Queensland is being sold through an international expressions of interest campaign run by CBRE Hotels on behalf of the appointed receivers, Matthew Caddy and Jamie Harris of McGrathNicol.

The campaign will offer 59 of the 106 strata apartments and villas in the complex, the remainder of which are held in private ownership.

Also, the resort management rights for the entire complex in addition to central facilities such as the resort reception, Tides Restaurant and Bar, a meeting and conferencing venue and a commercial tenancy which is currently vacant, will be sold.

Industry sources say price expectations for the resort were between $15 million and $20 million.

CBRE Hotels' Paul Fraser, who is selling the property with Wayne Bunz and Hayley Manvell, said the region was rebounding well with the reopening of a number of island resorts that were hit by Cyclone Debbie.

"Values in regional areas are significantly below replacement cost and this imbalance, combined with the strong performance of Australia's major leisure markets in a lower Australian dollar environment, is spurring buyer interest in available investment opportunities," he said.

Peppers Airlie Beach resort overlooking the harbour.
Peppers Airlie Beach resort overlooking the harbour.

In 2017 US hotel and timeshare giant Wyndham exchanged contracts to buy the 4.5-star resort for about $20 million which was well above market expectations. However, the deal fell through.

Josh Thompson's Latitude Development Group built the resort in 2009 for about $80 million. In September 2016 the company was placed in the hands of the receivers.

The property sits on a 1.8ha north-facing site on Hermitage Drive with views across the Port of Airlie Marina and the Coral Sea Coast, and is managed by ASX-listed Mantra Group under its luxury brand, Peppers.

However, it is being offered with vacant possession, providing a rebranding opportunity for investors.

"The sale offers a purchaser the opportunity to sell down the individual apartment stock under a management rights model, while also allowing an incoming owner the flexibility to sell the apartments on either a short, medium or long-term basis," Ms Manvell said.

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