The Metro Hotel Ipswich International.
The Metro Hotel Ipswich International. Rob Williams

Popular CBD hotel sold to become aged-care facility

ONE of Ipswich's most well-known hotels will be turned into an aged care facility after its sale was signed off following more than a year of delays.

The 97-room Metro Hotel Ipswich International has been sold to Oracle Care, which will convert it into a facility for the elderly.

An application to transform the popular hotel into an aged-care facility was lodged with Ipswich City Council in March last year and approved mid-year.

Despite the development approval, Transmetro Corporation and Oracle Care remained silent on the sale delays.

This week Transmetro confirmed the sale of its facility had been finalised.

The price of the transaction has not been publicly revealed.

In November 2011, the site was sold for $16million.

The hotel's ground-floor cafe, bar and restaurant, wellness centre, beauty salon and function areas are likely to be maintained for use by both residents and the public.

The exterior of the building is not likely to significantly change, with only a small alteration to its facade needed to accommodate an additional lift and internal alterations.

Transmetro Corporation managing director Peter Frawley said the company has sold its Ipswich hotel to pursue other opportunities across Queensland.

"The group is currently looking at opportunities in Queensland, and will continue to expand its national footprint into every major city in Australia,” he said.

Mr Frawley said the ASX-listed company would look at new assets which better reflect its strategy "to add more contemporary properties” to its portfolio of hotels and apartments.

He said the sale of the Ipswich hotel would have a positive financial result for Transmetro this financial year.

The sale was negotiated through Russell Allison and Donald Watson-Brown of Knight Frank in Brisbane.

Metro Hospitality Group, the trading division of Transmetro, oversees the Metro Hotels chain of hotels, apartments and pubs in Australia.