30/01/2008 - 22:00

Room to move at the high end

30/01/2008 - 22:00

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Two years after it was established, Ibex Capital Pty Ltd is proceeding with a pair of accommodation projects in the South West, having recently started construction works at one site and preparing to bring the other on to the market later this year

Room to move at the high end

Two years after it was established, Ibex Capital Pty Ltd is proceeding with a pair of accommodation projects in the South West, having recently started construction works at one site and preparing to bring the other on to the market later this year.

The company’s Aqua holiday villa development was approved in December and work will start soon at the 3.5-hectare site near Busselton, which formerly housed the Acacia Caravan Park.

The development will comprise 35 single-storey villas and seven two-storey villas with beach frontage, as well as an onsite manager’s residence.

Earlier last year, Ibex started forward works on its $80 million resort development at Gnarabup Beach, the first stage of which will be the construction of a five-star lodge and 28 villas.

The company expects to begin marketing the project, plus a further 120 villas in September this year, with completion scheduled for the summer of 2009.

Ibex director Charlie Robertson said the company was looking to meet a niche in the market for high-end accommodation development in the South West region, particularly around Margaret River.

“We haven’t deliberately focused on the South West but we have spent a considerable amount of time down there and have developed a working knowledge of the area and a level of expertise working with the councils,” he said.

“There’s still a long way to go with the accommodation offering [in the South West]. If [WA] wants to be able to market itself successfully overseas, we need to step up.”

Ibex has retained an interest in both its Aqua and Gnarabup projects, which Mr Robertson said had been part of its strategy from the outset.

“The point of the business was to build a portfolio of assets over time. Our aim is to co-invest – we want to have a long-term holding in our projects,” he said.

Mr Robertson said that, while there was room for further accommodation development in the South West, other regional tourism areas were less attractive from an investment point of view.

“Broome is pretty well supplied now, but it’s still a watching brief. It would have to take a pretty unique property for us to go up there,” he said.

Aside from its South West projects, Ibex is also managing the apartment development called 30 The Avenue, at the former Steve’s Hotel site in Nedlands.

The project is currently under construction and is due for completion at the end of the year or early 2009

It will include 10 new apartments, plus four boutique apartments within the old hotel.

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