Construction begins on $25 million Quest Wodonga serviced apartment project, with seven more in the pipeline

The soil has this week been turned on a new Quest serviced apartment project in Wodonga on the NSW/Victoria border, with seven more projects to be completed over the next 12 months. 

The new $25 million Quest Wodonga located on the Scout hall site on Reid Street in Wodonga is expected to open before next Easter and will feature 48 units comprising a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

Currently Quest is selling apartments in four projects in Launceston (starting at $280,000), Gladstone ($487,000 for two-bedroom), Maitland (starting at $235,000) and Moonee Valley ($330,000 for two-bedroom unit). 

The Wodonga apartments will not be available for investors to purchase individually, a spokesperson for Quest says. 

Serviced apartments are seen as a growth market in Australia. 

A report released by Atchison Consultants earlier this year said the serviced apartments sector would outperform the hotel sector over the next three years with total ungeared returns of between 13% and 15% per annum compared with 10% to 11% per annum for hotels. 

They are also a way for smaller investors to get a direct foothold into the leisure market. 

In March this year Quest set up a specialist property division – Quest Property – to sell serviced apartments to investors. The group manages about 5,000 serviced apartments. 

The apartments are sold with 6.5%+ fixed rental income, guaranteed full tenancy and no management fees. 

The Quest Wodonga will cater for business travellers in the area and will complement the Quest Albury already operating on the other side of the state border. 

In May Quest revealed that it would operate a new property in Frankston, Victoria after signing a lease with development partners the Deague family’s Asian Pacific Group.

The $50 million project will refurbish the Nepean Highway complex known as the Peninsula Centre and create 81 serviced apartments within the 150-apartment Rothelowman-designed building, which is expected to be completed in early 2013.

The Quest Wodonga and Quest Frankston serviced apartment projects are among eight new serviced apartments that will be completed between August this year and mid-2013. 

The new projects are: 

  • Quest Bundoora – Opening August 2012
  • Quest Frankston Central – Opening early 2013
  • Quest Wodonga – Opening June 2013
  • Quest Albion – Opening November 2012
  • Quest Rockhampton – Opening Mid-Year 2013
  • Quest at Sydney Olympic Park – Opening November 2012
  • Quest on Franklin – Opening April 2013
  • Quest Whyalla – Opening August 2012 

The serviced apartment group has also announced that it has started working on a $2 million stage two refurbishment of its Quest Docklands property, which is expected to be completed in October. 

Stage two will involve the restyling of Quest Dockland's 133 apartments with a warmer colour scheme, new interior furnishings and larger work desks. 

In stage one Quest restyled the property's lobby, reception and common areas, created a high-tech business centre and a property-wide Wi-Fi internet upgrade. 

Quest Serviced Apartments, which was established in 1988 by Paul Constantinou and now has more than 142 properties in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji with corporate travellers making up 80% of revenue. 

Other serviced apartment operators include the Mantra Group, Oaks Hotels & Resorts, Accor Hotels, Toga Hospitality, Mirvac Hotels & Resorts, Meriton Serviced Apartments, Q Resorts and StayWell Hospitality Group. 

Harry Triguboff’s Meriton group is set to add around 700 apartments to its portfolio this year.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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