A landmark court decision in Sydney could pave the way for a wave of high profile strata collective sales in NSW, after a hotel in Darling Harbour was sold with the agreement from three-quarters of the strata building’s owners.
The strata owners agreed to sell the 119-room hotel at 252 Sussex Street in one line for a rumoured price of about $80 million.
The deal marks the first ever court-ordered collective sale, made possible after changes to the Strata Schemes Development Act and was achieved by Colliers International with legal support.
The Seasons Harbour Plaza hotel was picked up by the Yeh family, led by Sydney hotel developer Johnson Yeh, after new legislation, which forces strata unit owners to sell if 75 per cent agree, came into force in November 2016.
The 446sq m 19-floor hotel features rooms ranging from a 30sq m studio to a 157sq m loft penthouse. It also has a rooftop indoor heated pool, sauna, gym, restaurant and 34 car parking bays over four basement levels.
Colliers International head of hotels Gus Moors said the owners corporation capitalised on the change to the Act and the strength of Sydney hotel market, choosing to divest an extremely well-located property in Sydney’s burgeoning Western Corridor.
Dentons, the law firm that advised 252 Sussex Street’s Owners Corporation over a two year period, said the group were now part of a piece of NSW legal history in being the first group of owners to receive a court approval to a collective sale.
“This is a particularly significant achievement because it’s the first time the court has had to consider this legislation in detail and it is the first successful use of the legislation to enable the collective sale of a strata building,” Dentons partner Christina Renner said.
“With this historic judgment, we expect that market perceptions around strata collective sales will shift, and more Owners Corporations will see the opportunities that are now open to them.”
New owners, the Taiwanese hotel developer Yeh family, already holds several boutique hotels in Sydney's CBD.
Last year, Yeh listed its 88 Liverpool Street hotel for $80 million. The hotel developer bought the heritage Federation building formerly known as Kent House in 2011 from long-time owner, the Spanish Club for $9 million.
It bought the Park Regis Hotel in Sydney from iProsperity last year for $54.18 million and also has plans to transform the nine-level 143-145 York Street heritage-listed commercial building into a hotel.