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Julian Gerner to retain and develop Sorrento’s Continental Hotel

“I have briefed Heritage Victoria and the Mornington Peninsula Shire who are supportive of this latest development.”

“Required maintenance work is ongoing and an army of consultants are working tirelessly, targeting a recommencement of construction post Australia Day 2020.”

Ownership of the hotel project will be held in a new entity called The Ocean Amphitheatre Company, which pays homage to George Coppin who built the Continental and developed the township of Sorrento.

Mr Gerner is the sole director and shareholder of the new company.

Under his ownership, the project on Constitution Hill will be expanded and include development of an adjacent property at 12 Riley Lane, which Steller – led by Nicholas Smedley and Simon Pitard – failed to settle on.

The original project includes an additional 100 hotel rooms in a new building behind the existing hotel and an upmarket dining and events centre.

A large 18.5-metre-deep hole at the rear of the site – above which the hotel stands – will be extended to allow for more car parking and a wellness centre.

The failure of the original development, which was halted mid-construction, alarmed residents and a local heritage association, the Nepean Conservation Group.

“The Continental Hotel is abandoned, not weatherproof at the start of winter, and on the edge of a great hole, where the sand dune has been excavated,” group president Ursula de Jong said in June.