‘Unprecedented’ Movement in Hotel Market as Macq01 Sells


Hobart’s popular Macq01 hotel has sold for just under $50 million to a syndicate of investors made up of local families.

The boutique 114-key hotel was developed by the Vos Group and hit the market in February.

The syndicate includes gambling giant the Federal Group — owned by the Farrell family — Hobart property player Robert Rockefeller, Knight Frank partner Scott Newton and local investment banker Greg Woolley.

The Federal Group had operated the hotel on a long-term lease — an operating structure with a growing appetite among institutional investors. The group, which also owns the nearby Henry Jones Art Hotel, will retain the head lease.

Speaking at The Urban Developer’s hotel summit in Sydney on Friday, JLL’s Peter Harper cited Macq01 as a notable recent transaction.

“Macq01 is an incredible asset, the amount of enquiry we had was extraordinary. People are viewing Tasmania in the same way that the South Island of New Zealand was [viewed] 20 years ago.”

“Tasmania has been a really interesting investment market for quite some time now.”

The 4.5-star luxury Macq01 is the fifth transaction for Harper in Tasmania’s hotel market in the year to date.

“[And] we have another major hotel asset under contract.

“There is no doubt investors are increasingly recognising the outstanding fundamentals of the market and its growth potential,” Harper said.

Tasmania’s hotel market recorded a 6 per cent increase in the revenue per available room metric over the year to March, according to CBRE’s first quarter hotel market overview.

The island state bucked the trend of slower growth nationally, registering strong growth across all key performance indicators. Occupancy grew 2.1 per cent and annual daily revenue 3.8 per cent, while there was a 13.6 per cent increase in the nights spent in hotels.

More than 1,700 rooms — 55 per cent of total stock — is forecast to come on line over the next three years in Hobart, placing significant pressure on the market.

“The sheer volume of hotels coming to market over the next three years will exert pressure on hotel performance [and] the market will struggle to absorb the new product,” CBRE said.

The 120-key Vibe Hotel will come on line in early 2020, along with two five-star new build hotels: the 187-key Crowne Plaza and 128-key The Tasman.

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