Tim Gurner is planning to launch a $150-million health, wellness, recovery and anti-ageing concept club known as Saint Haven.
The high-end chain, which plans to mix cryotherapy, ancient remedies, kombucha and yoga, among others, is planned for 8 to 10 outlets across Australia, and potentially Los Angeles, over the next three to four years.
They will be within and outside Gurner’s own projects.
The first outlet will open at the developer’s Collingwood project in March, aimed at executives and wealthy clientele who want to combine health and wellness treatments, and workouts under one roof. More than $7.5 million will be spent on the fit-out which will open its doors early next year.
The wellness brand will form part of a broader strategy for the wider Gurner Group development business to become more diversified, to ride out the ups and downs of the property cycle.
Tim Gurner, whose first business was running a gym 20 years ago, said he had the capital, the expertise and the market knowledge to grow the concept at scale.
“This is not a small play for us, we have been planning this for more than 10 years and had a full-time team working on the concept for more than 18 months to ensure we deliver something truly unique,” he said.
“I have always been obsessed with health and wellness.
“Over the past decade I have been able to surround myself with a team of world-leading professionals to help me unlock my own peak performance by integrating hard training, supplementation, meditation, nutrition, science-backed research and ancient practices into my own routine.
“Saint Haven will allow its members access to the world’s most progressive, science-backed innovations in rejuvenation, longevity and anti-ageing, just as I have been able to unlock the benefits of these practices in my own journey.”
The private developer, worth $929 million according to the 2022 Financial Review Rich List, has had a busy year padding out a $10-billion portfolio and pipeline consisting of 10,000 homes as well as a $1.2-billion build-to-rent fund alongside investment house Qualitas.
Gurner also has seven hotels in its portfolio, a property management business that has about 1000 properties under management and a lifestyle division including Bar Bianco in the Melbourne suburb of Prahran.
Last week, Gurner and joint venture partner Wingate announced that Australia’s first St Regis luxury hotel would take up residency in the developer’s $1.7-billion La Pelago Gold Coast development after striking an agreement with operator Marriott.
The move into the wellness sector is based on sound research and an impending boom in the under serviced asset class, with very few “ultra-exclusive private club environments”, according to Gurner.
According to a recent report by the Global Wellness Institute, which valued the global wellness market at $4.3 trillion in 2017, the market is set to grow by 10 per cent a year over the next three years when it will reach $7 trillion in market value.
By 2023, Asia-Pacific is expected to overtake North America as the largest wellness consumer.
In Australia, wellness industry revenue is projected to grow over the next five years to $2.3 billion, while an estimated 7.7 million Australian adults were paying participants of gyms, yoga studios and Pilates classes in 2020.
Gurner said he was attracted back into the Australian health and wellness industry through his personal wellness journey, being disappointed by what was currently available to consumers and with a desire to challenge what is possible in luxury across multiple verticals.
“This is a hugely important move for the group as we continue to diversify the business into adjacent industries that help broaden the group’s cash flow and diversity of income, while continuing to build on the brand as a leading luxury lifestyle brand,” he said.
“We are looking to become a major player in the [health and wellness] space.”
Saint Haven memberships will start at $90 weekly, and many packages will sell for $130 to $150 a week. There will only be 400 to 800 memberships available at each location. Gurner said one of the most important elements to health was “social connection” and “exclusivity”.
The group is also planning adjacent wellness brands alongside Saint Haven that will further broaden the wellness part of the business.