Global investment firm Pro-invest has acquired the luxury 5-star Primus Hotel in the first significant hotel transaction since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic following an intensely fought competitive sale process managed by JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group. The purchase, which completes in August, was negotiated through JLL Hotels Managing Director Mark Durran.
“We are delighted with this purchase as it represents Pro-invest’s first hotel in the Sydney CBD as well as our first property in the luxury sector,” said Pro-invest Chairman Mr Ronald Barrott.
Located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD on the corner of Pitt and Bathurst Streets, the Primus hotel is a stunning revival of inter-war period architecture by design firm Woods Bagot with original features such as the grand eight-metre-high scagliola columns and panelled sky light in the lobby that were restored to their 1930s Art Deco glory in 2015. The hotel features 172 luxury guest rooms and suites together with a lobby bar, restaurant, roof top bar and swimming pool with 480 sqm of conference space and a gymnasium.
“The Pro-invest team identified the Primus, with its inventory of large guest rooms and suites and expansive lobby, as an exceptional opportunity to rebrand and reposition the hotel towards an upscale lifestyle hospitality offering,” said Pro-invest Co-CEO Jan Smits. “Pro-invest’s vertical hospitality platform gives us a real advantage as it enables us to seamlessly re-position and operate this unique asset with our expert in-house team,” said Jan.
Greenland Australia Managing Director Mr Sherwood Luo said, “Greenland remains committed to the Australian market and its extensive pipeline of local development projects. We have a forecast investment pipeline of $3 Billion in Australian commercial and residential property projects including our current projects Greenland Centre Sydney and our joint venture with GH Australia-Park Sydney located in inner city Erskinville,” said Mr Luo.
The sale of this multi award winning hotel comes as developer Greenland Australia nears completion in coming months of its adjoining Greenland Centre tower, Sydney CBDs tallest residential building of which 95% of the apartments have been sold over the past seven years with settlements occurring over the next few months.
Despite the industry’s current challenging operating environment there is no shortage of local and offshore capital seeking to invest in high quality major hotel opportunities. “The strong interest fielded in this exceptional hotel asset reflects a huge vote of investor confidence in the Sydney hotel markets long term fundamentals as well Australia’s enduring appeal as a visitor destination and its status as an investment safe haven,” said Mark.
“The future Pitt St underground metro station adjacent to the hotel and the George St light rail is close by, whilst further south the emerging technology hub around central station is set to be a catalyst for the revitalisation of the hotels surrounding precinct,” said Mark.
Karena Noble, PR Lead, Pro-invest
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