21/02/2008 - 11:28

Emerald Hotel sold to Rendezvous for $25.1m

21/02/2008 - 11:28

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The 3.5 star Emerald Hotel Perth is set for a major refurbishment following its sale to the Singaporean owner of Scarborough's Rendezvous Observation City Hotel for $25.1 million.

Emerald Hotel sold to Rendezvous for $25.1m

The 3.5 star Emerald Hotel Perth is set for a major refurbishment following its sale to the Singaporean owner of Scarborough's Rendezvous Observation City Hotel for $25.1 million.

Currently a Best Western property, the four-storey Emerald was purchased by The Straits Trading Company Ltd through its wholly owned subsidiary Rendezvous Hotels Management Pty Ltd, in a complex transaction from 65 individual strata titled owners.

The Emerald is the second major hotel to be sold in Perth in recent weeks with the 84-room Chifley Hotel selling off-market for $26.5 million in January to another Singaporean investor, the Ascott Group.

Located on Mount Street in Perth's West-End, the Emerald features 103 rooms, ranging in size from two-bedroom apartments to single hotel rooms, as well as a restaurant, bar and conference facilities with basement car park.

The deal was brokered by Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels' Mark Durran and Colliers International's Greg O'Meara, and settlement is expected to occur on April 1, 2008.

"The hotel will undergo a major refurbishment and will be operated within the Rendezvous Hotels & Resorts International Group as part of The Marque Collection of Hotels," said Mr Durran.

"We received extensive buyer interest with eleven bids lodged, mostly from international and east coast investors attracted by the city's continued strong growth outlook."

Mr O'Meara said the 20-year old property, while well maintained, was nearing the end of its lifespan and required upgrades of its facade, rooms, and lift equipment.

He said a major extention to the hotel or a redevelopment of the 2,000 square metre site may prove difficult, however, given the site was governed by strict Parliamentary Precinct planning rules and a plot ratio entitlement of 4:1.

"A committee of unit holders met last year and realised that they couldn't do the same thing with the Emerald forever...they wanted to take it to the next phase of its life," he said.

Mr O'Meara said the on-market campaign used to sell the property was unusal, given Perth's tightly-held hotel properties were selling off-market in recent times, but the unit holders were confident of achieving a good result.

According to Jones Lang LaSalle, Asian buyers have returned to Australian shores, accounting for 35 per cent of total hotel transaction activity during 2007 - a significant increase on the 4 per cent recorded during 2006.

"Australian Bureau of Statistics' most recent tourist accommodation performance data showed that Perth hotels recently achieved the highest occupancy rates in Australia and the strongest RevPAR growth in the order of 23 per cent," said Mr Durran.

Meanwhile, The Straits Trading Company is preparing to lodge a development application with the City of Stirling shortly, to transform its ageing Rendezvous hotel at Scarborough Beach.

As revealed by WA Business News in May last year, the company is planning to redevelop the 18-storey tower into a luxury residential apartment block in a bold plan that includes a new, eight-level, five-star hotel on the site.


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