A Plenary-led consortium has won the rights to develop a A$294m (€178m) convention and exhibition centre in southeastern Australia.

The consortium known as Plenary Conventions will develop Geelong Convention and Exhibition Centre, a waterfront project in Victoria incorporating a 1,000-seat venue, two large exhibition spaces, conference facilities, flexible event spaces and meeting rooms providing views of Corio Bay.

Associated commercial development will deliver a 200-room Crowne Plaza hotel – Geelong’s largest hotel – and other retail and commercial spaces, including potential for a future commercial office tower.

The project is being delivered as a public-private partnership, with the Plenary Conventions consortium to finance, design, construct and maintain the facility for 25 years in partnership with the Victorian Government and its funding partners, the Australian government and the City of Greater Geelong.

Quintessential Equity, a Melbourne-based private equity property business specialising in regeneration, is a commercial office development partner and investor in the project.

Plenary Group chair, John O’Rourke, said Plenary Conventions now entered a period of exclusive negotiations with the Victorian government to finalise contract details and achieve financial close, which was expected in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The development is described as part of the ”centrepiece” of what is known as the Geelong City Deal, a A$500m commitment between the Australian and Victorian governments and the city of Greater Geelong.

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