Forrest family purchases Sydney’s Waldorf Astoria in $520m deal

Forrest family purchases Sydney’s Waldorf Astoria in $520m deal

Render of One Circular Quay – Waldorf Astoria Sydney (Credit: Lendlease)

The private investment arm of the Forrest family has snapped up Australia’s first Waldorf Astoria Hotel at Sydney’s Circular Quay in a deal understood to be worth just under $520 million.

Under the agreement, Tattarang will purchase the to-be-constructed 25-storey tower that is part of the $3.1 billion One Circular Quay project from Lendlease (ASX: LLC) and its joint venture partner Mitsubishi Estate.

The deal will also see Fiveight – the Perth-based property arm of Tattarang – own 430sqm of ground floor retail and 11 tenancies, including in the adjacent One Circular Quay residential tower that Lendlease and Mitsubishi will retain.

Designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates, construction of the new hotel tower is set to commence in mid-2023, with the luxury destination slated to open in late 2026.

Tattarang co-owner Nicola Forrest - billionaire Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest's wife - said the investment was a continuation of Tattarang’s long-term strategy to invest in and support iconic Australian places, spaces and products that showcase the best of what our country has to offer.

“Circular Quay is a globally-unique and instantly recognisable location that continues to welcome millions of visitors – from both near and far – each year,” Forrest said.

“As long-term investors, we believe this development can play an important role in the future rejuvenation of the wider Circular Quay precinct and we are committed to engaging with Lendlease and the surrounding community towards an even brighter future for Australia’s gateway city.”

“We are excited to work collaboratively with the Hilton team to create one of the world’s most innovative Waldorf Astoria hotels, and importantly one that is uniquely Australian.”

In July 2022, Lendlease and Mitsubishi Estate Asia formed a joint venture to acquire the One Circular Quay development in Sydney for around $850 million. Mitsubishi Estate Asia holds a 66.7 per cent interest in the joint venture.

In an ASX announcement released more than a week ago, Lendlease revealed 158 luxury apartments in the residential tower – designed by Australian architect Kerry Hill – were 30 per cent presold by value and 42 per cent by number.

The hotel will build on Tattarang’s property portfolio which already includes the Gaia Retreat & Spa in Byron Bay (formerly owned by entertainer Olivia Newton-John) and the iconic Cape Lodge Hotel in Margaret River, WA.

“This transaction is a major milestone for the precinct’s revitalisation, bringing us one step closer to transforming the centrepiece of Sydney’s spectacular harbour,” Lendlease managing director development Tom Mackellar said.

“Australia’s first Waldorf Astoria by Hilton, which will be located alongside our luxury One Circular Quay residential tower, positions this precinct to become one of the most desired places to live and stay in the world.”

Upon completion, Waldorf Astoria Hotel guests will have access to spa and wellness facilities, an indoor pool, ballroom and function spaces, boardrooms, as well as a rooftop bar and restaurant.

“As the first Waldorf Astoria property to debut in Australia, Waldorf Astoria Sydney signals Hilton’s commitment to expanding our luxury portfolio to the world’s most sought-after destinations,” Hilton Area Vice President and Head of Australasia Paul Hutton said.

“Our personal, elegant service and timeless locally inspired environments are at the heart of every hotel.

“We are truly excited to be a part of such an iconic project for Australia and look forward to deepening our relationship with Fiveight as we work together to deliver a truly world class experience at Waldorf Astoria Sydney.”

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