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Singaporean developer snaps up boutique Sydney hotel

By Kyle Robbins
02 November 2023 | 1 minute read
the old clare hotel reb szcfe3

The ideally located, five-star Chippendale property is the fifth asset in the investor’s Australian arsenal.

Purchased for $61.8 million by Singapore-based Invictus Developments, the Old Clare Hotel on Sydney’s bustling Broadway boulevard stretches across two buildings in the heart of Sydney. The 69-room hotel also boasts several other amenities including a restaurant, rooftop bar and swimming pool, as well as event spaces and meeting rooms.

Not only is the Old Clare Hotel set to benefit from the proposed NSW government Central Precinct Renewal Program, Chayadi Karim, principal at Invictus Developments, believes the asset will reap the rewards of Australia’s “tourism sector [continuing] to thrive amidst the post-pandemic recovery”.

Adding the Chippendale property to its Australian property belt has grown Invictus Developments’ property portfolio Down Under to five: The Inchcolm by Ovolo Hotels at Spring Hill in Brisbane, the Old Clare Hotel, the Harbour Rocks Hotel in Sydney, Quest Woolloongabba in Brisbane, and an office building in York Street, Sydney, which is to be refurbished into an upscale hotel.

With the value of these five acquisitions and refurbishments presently at $270 million, Invictus Developments still boasts almost half of the $500 million allocated for investments in the Australian hotel sector. This large portion of remaining funds in the company’s back pocket indicates their hotel foraging on these shores isn’t ending in Chippendale, something Mr Karim confirmed.

“Having set in stone our property improvement plans and management strategies, we remain committed to further investment within the Australian hotel sector,” he shared.

Facilitated by Colliers, the acquisition sees Loh Lik Peng, chief executive officer of Unlisted Collection, part with the property.

Mr Peng stated he is “proud to have developed the Old Clare Hotel into one of Australia’s foremost boutique hotels”.

“I am pleased to be handing over the hotel to Invictus, who I know will be the best long-term guardians to continue the legacy of this historic property.”

“I would like to express my gratitude to the whole team at The Old Clare, past and present, who made this journey a success,” he continued.

Karen Wales, head of hotels, Australia, at Colliers, explained: “Invictus has taken up the rare opportunity to acquire a freehold heritage boutique hotel in Sydney, where hotels are difficult to develop as a result of tight planning controls and expensive lands and construction costs.”

“Sydney’s accommodation offering is critical to Australia’s tourism positioning, as it is the single most popular tourist destination in the country,” she added.

Ms Wales recently detailed Australia’s post-pandemic hotel market renaissance, fueled by tourism markets returning to levels not seen since 2019, has seen assets snapped up at breakneck speeds.

As previously reported on REB, she said: “Hotels are emerging as a preferred property investment sector, as new market entrants are drawn to conditions of easing supply, high room rates, and the return of international travel.”

She revealed transaction volumes in the sector are expected to hit $2.5 billion by the end of 2023, with surging price growth inspired by resurgent tourism figures.

Singaporean developer snaps up boutique Sydney hotel
the old clare hotel reb szcfe3
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