Darling Harbour’s Vibe Hotel might have a new owner before its doors have even opened, with the property’s developer and owner Icon Oceania hoping to cash in on the shortage of new hotels in Sydney by putting it up for sale.
The 145-room, 4.5-star hotel, at 319-325 Sussex Street, is scheduled to open in September.
Andrew Langsford, senior vice-president of JLL’s Hotels and Hospitality Group, said the decision to sell was a “relatively recent development”, with Icon Oceania wanting to “capitalise on the opportunities in the hotel marketplace currently occurring around the country”. They had price expectations of $100 million or more, he said.
The hotel will operate under a management agreement with TFE Hotels, whose 73-property portfolio includes the Adina, Vibe and Travelodge brands.
It is Icon’s first hotel development, after previously focusing on small residential projects.
Featuring a rooftop bar and pool, as well as the restaurant, Sussex Store, the property is located on the city side of Darling Harbour, in walking distance of Town Hall station.
“Situated between the CBD core and Darling Harbour, the property is set to capitalise on its strategic location and proximity to the majority of the city’s world-class tourism attractions, accommodation-demand generators and tourism infrastructure investment, such as Darling Harbour, CBD light rail and ICC Sydney,” Mr Langsford said.
This would be the first sale of a new hotel in the Sydney CBD since the Four Points by Sheraton Sydney Central Park in 2017, said Craig Collins, chief executive Australasia of JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group.
“There were many hotel transactions in Sydney between 2013 and 2016; however, since then, there have been very limited opportunities to acquire a Sydney hotel.
“The majority of Sydney owners love their hotels and have no intention of selling over the medium term. Considering this, interest in this hotel should be strong as the next opportunity to acquire a similar hotel may be some time away,” Mr Collins said.
The Four Points by Sheraton Sydney Central Park was sold to hotel developer and plastic surgeon Jerry Schwartz in a deal with Liberman family-backed funds manager, Impact Investment Group for a price believed to be more than $150 million.
The Four Points by Sheraton Sydney Central Park opened its doors last year.
Other hotels to recently hit the market include the 112-room Veriu Central Hotel, which had an expressions of interest campaign run by Colliers International that recently closed, and the Larmont Hotel in Potts Point.
The Vibe Hotel Darling Harbour is for sale by expression of interest closing on September 12.
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