Two historical harbourside boutique hotels on Sydney’s sought-after lower north shore are on the market, joining an uptick in inventory for the sector.
But given their location, agents say they will appeal to developers with “vision” to convert the heritage-listed buildings to apartments.
Steam Leung, who is marketing the properties for Colliers, said the small hotels had a guest house feel as they currently stand, but both have potential to be converted into apartments in the lucrative suburbs.
“It’s a very unique location,” he said. “For Glenferrie Lodge, we are quite focused on a boutique development.”
The property is 100 metres from Kirribilli House, the prime minister’s official Sydney residence, and is heritage listed, but Mr Leung said consultant architects were confident plans they’d drawn up for apartments would meet any heritage requirements.
“These things can be overcome … this is a treasure, but will need someone with vision,” Mr Leung said.
Glenferrie Lodge is a 69-room four-star hotel sitting on 1065 square metres, making it one of Kirribilli’s largest land parcels, and was originally a 19th-century guesthouse.
Mr Leung said the sale was due to the hit the pandemic delivered to the hotels’ income. “Income in 2020 dropped by 90 per cent,” he said. “But we believe that will come back to normal.”
Cremorne Point Manor was built in 1906 as a residential manor, and was restored in the 1920s and converted to a guesthouse. Mr Leung sees it having potential as continuing to run as a hotel with the 140-square-metre penthouse acting as a residential property.
‘We’re starting to see some positivity’
Colliers head of hotels Gus Moors said the sector was starting to pick up again post-pandemic.
“There’s certainly more inventory bobbing up now,” Mr Moors said. “We’re starting to see some positivity in the sector.”
Last year, Emerald City Hotels tried to sell off all four of its lower north shore hotels but wasn’t happy with the potential prices. Now, the group is planning to retain recently-renovated The Albert in Mosman and Dalziel Lodge in North Sydney.
Mr Moors said Glenferrie Lodge and Cremorne Point Manor were back on the market because they may attract buyers other than traditional hotel investors.
But he said hotels around the country were recovering, with regional hotels enjoying a “long summer”. Even CBD hotels around the country were benefiting from domestic tourists taking “staycations’, he said, but still struggling with the loss of Monday to Thursday corporate travellers.
“As the vaccine rollout continues we’ll have corporates wanting to move away from Zoom,” he said. “We like to do business face to face … we’ll start to see corporate travel pick up in the back half of 2021.”
Glenferrie Lodge and Cremorne Point Manor are for sale by expressions of interest closing 3pm on April 15. Their sales are being facilitated by Colliers’ Steam Leung, Joseph Lin, Zhenni Lu, Gus Moors and Karen Wales.