Chris had a plan. This was to turn a run down, 27 room accommodation property in Randwick into a stylish but affordable 42 room accommodation venue. He had DA approval for a refurbishment of the building, including the addition of another storey and a new section at the rear. As a property developer since the 1990s, he knew what he wanted, and he knew what he needed. He also knew who he wanted to do the job.
“Virtue Projects had done a house for a relative of mine, who had recommended them,” Chris says. “Then we used them first up in a property we did in Challis Avenue, Potts Point, another hotel. They built the structural elements of a large back floor addition to a pair of large terrace house.”
Chris had been happy with the work Virtue had done on the Potts Point hotel, and while the scope of the Randwick build exceeded that of their earlier work, he had every confidence that they could get the job done.
“The business operates as budget accommodation, but budget doesn’t have to mean nasty,” Chris says. “I want to deliver a quality product within a reasonable budget. It has to be functional, and it has to look more expensive than it might be.”
Virtue were responsible not only for the structural elements of the build, but the finishes as well. “The only thing Virtue didn’t do is make the furniture,” Chris says.
The result is a stylish, modern building, which meets the needs of the Sydney Lodges’ clients.
“It is pretty straightforward, with a nice fit out, cable TV, WIFI, air-con, nice furniture, comfortable beds. Most people would be happy to stay here. I’d be staying here!” Chris says.
While the job was extensive, Chris could not have been more satisfied with either the finished product nor with the professionalism of the Virtue crew.
“The delivery was fine, the timing was great, and they worked quickly and efficiently,” Chris says. “It was a very happy job site, and everyone got on well. I had some of my own staff who were also working on the job, and there were no issues at all.”
The relaxed attitude of the Virtue boys was a particular positive, says Chris.
“Attitude is really important,” he says. “At the end of the day, it’s like a partnership. I’m a bit out of the box, I guess, because I’m quite hands-on. So I’d come to the site a couple of times a day, and we’d talk on the phone a million times a day. To be able to work quickly on a major job like that, you need to be able to work together. And these guys were always calm, I could see that they were doing their work, and they certainly know their trades well.
“I was very happy, and I’d be happy to use them again.”