A CONSORTIUM of about 60 Border investors has bought the freehold of Albury’s Quest serviced apartments for $24.8 million.
The Quest building — including the ground floor Manhattans restaurant and adjacent Endota Spa business — was built five years ago for $17 million.
The purchase, settled on June 27, was announced yesterday by Crowe Horwath Property Services division on behalf of the investor syndicate.
“The fact that a number of our syndicate members are local people looking to invest locally reveals the strong confidence and belief in the ongoing growth and future of the Albury-Wodonga region,” Crowe Horwath Property Services division senior manager Julie Perry said.
Ms Perry said she had worked in many other regions and could say without hesitation that the Border was unique for the strength of its property market.
She said that was further demonstrated by the development of Quest serviced apartments in the former Australian Taxation Office building in Smollett Street and the $25 million Quest Apartments and Huon Hill pub development in Wodonga.
The sale does not affect the franchise of the Quest apartments business.
Quest Apartments opened in late 2008 under the franchise management of Noel and Madeline Wood, who continue to run the business.
The Hansen Yuncken-built project features 104 apartments and studios over four levels, though the building has six levels including basement and reception areas on the ground floor.
“Kiewa Street has changed considerably over the last several years becoming very active, with modern buildings being developed and a range of businesses locating to the street,” Ms Perry said.
Quest chairman Paul Constantinou said the transaction was part of a growing trend towards local investment, which supported Quest’s business model of building serviced apartments in regional and suburban locations.
“During uncertain financial times, investors are turning away from traditional assets, preferring instead to safeguard their financial future by investing in assets that they can see and understand within their local communities,” Mr Constantinou said.
“We are currently building our third property in the Albury-Wodonga region demonstrating our expansion strategy in regional and suburban growth corridors throughout Australia.”
Crowe Horwath Property Services division focuses on sourcing either an established commercial property or identifying and developing a site for a national tenant.
Ms Perry said that by syndicating prime property developments or acquisitions with local investors, the service aimed to provide long-term benefits for the local community and the economy.