Brisbane Chifley at Lennons Hotel acquired by Singapore hotel group for $57 million

Singapore-based hotel group SilverNeedle Hospitality has acquired the four-star Chifley at Lennons Hotel (also known as the Lennons Plaza hotel) in the Brisbane CBD for around $57 million.

The hotel has been acquired from the Abacus Property Group which valued it at $55 million in June this year.

It last traded for $29.75 million in 2004.

SilverNeedle was due to acquire the hotel in partnership with Fijian-based hotel and construction company Reddy Group, but it did not go ahead with SilverNeedle acquiring the hotel on its own.

The sale was brokered by CBRE Hotels senior director Wayne Bunz and Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels vice-presidents for investment sales Peter Harper and Dean Humphries.

The hotel is one of the best located in the city, standing at 66 Queen Street Mall and is already managed by SilverNeedle under its Chifley brand.

It was formerly called the Country Comfort Lennons Hotel and stands on the site of the General MacArthur's Pacific headquarters during the Second World War.

It features 154 guest rooms as well as 3,695 square metres of commercial office space and 750 square metres of prime ground floor retail fronting the Queen Street Mall.

SilverNeedle will convert refurbish the hotel and convert the existing commercial office space into hotel accomodation, doubling the room count to 300.

The revamped hotel is set to open in 2014 in time for the G20 summit and will be rebranded as NEXT hotel, a new brand to be launched by SilverNeedle in Australia.

The purchase of the Chifley at Lennons follows a number of prominent Australian CBD hotels snapped up by Asian investors.

In July the 100-year old Rendezvous Hotel on Flinders Street being acquired in July by Singapore property Straits Trading Company for $61 million as part of its expansion in Australia.

In June the Sydney Harbour Marriott, the Brisbane Marriott and the Melbourne Marriott were been bought by Malaysia-listed Starhill Real Estate Investment Trust, managed by Malaysian conglomerate YTL Corp for $415 million. The Marriott properties formed part of Colonial First State’s (CFS) Commonwealth Property Hotel Fund.

SilverNeedle, which was formely called Constellation Hotels, owns and manages around 67 hotels across the Asia-Pacific region.

It is a privately owned company, majority-owned by IT entrepreneur Nadathur S. Raghavan.

Raghavan told The Australian he would be looking at other acquisition in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney after “digesting” the Brisbane acquisition.

In Australia, SilverNeedle operates around 4,400 rooms in Australia under the Grand Chifley, Chifley, Australis, Country Comfort and Sundowner brands.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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