CAROLYN CUMMINS | Commercial Property Editor | The Sydney Morning Herald | July 16, 2017
Inglis relocated its business to Warwick Farm from the five-hectare Newmarket property in Randwick earlier this year, after selling the long-held stables to Cbus Property in August 2015 for $250 million.
The hotel, MGallery by Sofitel, is under construction as part of the $140 million precinct developed by Inglis to be known as Riverside Stables. The new facility is adjacent to the Warwick Farm racecourse, in south-western Sydney, and will feature more than 800 horse stables re-using the hardwood from the Inglis Newmarket stables in Randwick.
The hotel, designed by architects Timothy Court & Co and interiors by CHADA ,is expected to open by next March and will have 144 rooms, including 22 suites and numerous family rooms across eight floors.
According to the developers, in a nod to the Inglis racing and thoroughbred history each hotel room will have a personalised name and theme, based on one of the many champion racehorses sold through its sales rings.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Inglis family on this prestigious hotel development for south-western Sydney,” Mr McGrath said.
“Not only will it provide much-needed high-end boutique accommodation to service the racing industry and clients of Inglis, but we also believe it will be a major driver and drawcard for regional tourism across both the corporate and leisure sectors.”
Inglis managing director Mark Webster said the Riverside Stables complex and hotel were a “massive investment by Inglis, and has been created to service the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry for the next 100 years”.
“We are delighted to be working with the Asia-Pacific’s leading hotel operator AccorHotels to manage this special property under its luxurious boutique MGallery by Sofitel brand,” Mr Webster said.
In honour of the existing historic Newmarket stables in Randwick, a large barn is being constructed overlooking the racecourse for use during major horse sales and will double as a venue for weddings and other special events.
It comes as the national hotel sector is on a fast expansion path. As part of the growth, Savills has advised on what is considered the largest hotel merger and acquisition of the year with Prince Hotels Inc., a subsidiary of Japanese Investment giant Seibu Holdings Inc., acquiring 100 per cent of Australian-based Staywell Hospitality Group.
The transaction value is about $50 million and sees Prince Hotels Inc. add 30 hotels, including 12 in Australia, under the Park Regis brand, to its portfolio with significant further international growth to come.
Michael Simpson and Vasso Zographou from Savills Hotels led the transaction team, supported by Sheriden Bacon and Tom Shadbolt, with Tokyo-based Prince Hotels, which owns and operates 49 hotels – 42 of them in Japan under The Prince, Grand Prince Hotel and Prince Hotel brands.
The Staywell Hospitality Group operates hotels in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Townsville, the Hunter Valley and other Australian locations under the Park Regis and Leisure Inn brands. It also operates a number of properties internationally in Singapore, Indonesia, India, Dubai and Birmingham and will continue with its asset-light approach to hotel management as part of the new agreement with Prince and Seibu.
Mr Simpson, managing director of hotels for Savills Australia, said the acquisition of the platform enables Prince Hotels Inc. to fast track its global growth through immediate presence in a range of international markets.