Australian hotel management business StayWell Hospitality Group has announced it is to make its UK debut in 2014 when the Park Regis Birmingham opens with further hotels planned in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.
The 272-bedroom, four-star property is currently under construction. The former 1960s Auchinleck House office block is being converted from derelict offices in £100m plans that will also revamp the Edgbaston Five Ways shopping complex.
The hotel and conference centre will be the first project in the UK for the Sydney-based company that currently manages 26 hotels in the Asia/Pacific region. StayWell Hospitality Group has equity, ownership interests or both in a number of the venues.
The Birmingham venture is expected to be the first part of the implementation of significant plans the Australian group has for the UK market - the company has recently opened an office here.
"This is a massive step forward for StayWell and we are elated to have such a quality accommodation product added to our portfolio," Simon Wan, chief executive of StayWell Hospitality, Group said.
The company is also negotiating a management agreement for an 'upmarket hotel' currently being developed in London. It is considering other opportunities including existing properties in Manchester and Edinburgh as well as development sites.
"Our partners in the UK, Seven Capital, have identified a number of other opportunities in the region which is very exciting for us and we hope to announce further additions to our portfolio very soon," Wan added.
The Park Regis Birmingham will feature a rooftop restaurant and cocktail bar, as well as a lobby restaurant, lounge and bar, a business centre and a gym/spa.
It is believed the Government Business Premises Renovation Allowance (BPRA) was used to help fund the development - it gives tax breaks to developers transforming empty buildings.
Worldwide the group currently operates two main brands - the mid-market Leisure Inn hotels and the centrally-located Park Regis hotels for 'the more discerning' guest.
As well as moving into the UK and European markets, StayWell plans to leverage off its established brands and properties in Australia, Singapore and Dubai and expand in Northern Asia, especially China and India.