A Chinese investor has bought the Radisson Hotel and Suites at Sydney’s Darling Harbour for a discounted $38 million in the first major accommodation deal of the year.
While build-to-rent groups were among those that showed interest in the 100-room, four-star hotel, it is understood the new owner identified by industry sources only as “Mr Yu” (and with hotel interests in China) intends to keep operating it as a hotel.
Offshore investors have proved themselves avid counter-cyclical hotel buyers since the pandemic.
In October, Malaysia’s Mah family bought Sydney’s Capitol Square Hotel for $26 million. In September, Syrian billionaire Ghassan Aboud’s Crystalbrook Collection paid $70million-$75 million for The Fantauzzo Brisbane Art Series Hotel. Thailand’s Savetsomphob family bought the new Vibe Hotel Melbourne from developer Caydon for $108 million in July.
The deal for the Radisson Sydney suggests about a 5 per cent-10 per cent discount to its pre-COVID-19 value.
Gus Moors, head of hotels at Colliers International, and colleague Karen Wales negotiated the sale of the Radisson Sydney, but declined to comment.
The apartment hotel on the corner of Sussex and Liverpool came to market in April with a $40 million-plus asking price after its Beijing -backed owner and operator Ausbao rejected several strong offers in 2016.
The Radisson was one of about 40 Sydney hotels that temporarily closed during the pandemic after occupancy rates plunged into the single digits.
Ausbao, a subsidiary of Beijing Development Capital Holding, the development and construction arm of the People’s Government of Beijing Municipality, completed the hotel and apartments in 1998 and has operated them since then.
Its franchise agreement with Radisson Hotels Asia Pacific expires in August 2022. Early termination of the agreement was available as part of the deal.
Ausbao owns the nearby 160-room Crowne Plaza hotel and residential tower on the corner of Sussex and Bathurst streets, which opened in October.
The offering included 76 strata freehold serviced apartments, freehold interest in the lobby, restaurant and conference space, and freehold interest in eight car parking spaces as well as leasehold interests in an additional 24 serviced apartments and a further 10 leased car parking spaces.
In a second smaller hotel deal, local Cairns businessman Adam Adams has bought the 101-room Reef Plaza Hotel Cairns in the centre of Cairns for about $12 million.
Mr Adams owns the Night Owl convenience store chain in Cairns and the Oaks Cairns Hotel. Wayne Bunz, Hayley Manvell and Danny Betros negotiated the sale.
The hotel on the corner of Grafton and Spence streets will undergo comprehensive refurbishment and eventual rebranding.
Despite tourism-dependent Cairns being hit hard during the pandemic, Mr Bunz said the local investment market was “pretty active”.
“Cairns represents a really good counter-cyclical opportunity – with the domestic tourism rebound – to get into the market,” said Mr Bunz, who will soon launch a campaign to sell another regional hotel, the 140-room Hotel Grand Chancellor, in Palm Cove to the north of Cairns.
Price expectations for this hotel are around $15 million.
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