Hotel operators eye Sydney Scientology headquarters

The Church of Scientology is selling its Sydney headquarters.

Hotel operators and student accommodation groups are among those already vying for the Church of Scientology’s Sydney headquarters, just days after it hit the market.

Agents marketing the property confirmed interest from a number of potential buyers and investors for the four-storey property in inner-city Glebe, which the controversial religious group uses for both worship and education.

The building at 19-37 Greek St was officially put up for sale on Saturday, with the church expected to relocate later this year to a larger premises within the Government Acoustic Lab in Chatswood.

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Early estimates put the potential price tag at around $16 million, though LJ Hooker Commercial associate director John Romyn, who is marketing the property with colleague Daniel O’Brien and TGC’s Scot Robertson and Sean Doolan, says it is early days.

Romyn says they have already received solid enquiry from a diverse range of potential buyers.

The building is fitted out for the Church's worship and education programs.

The building is fitted out for the Church’s worship and education programs.

“We’ve had consistent interest … and towards the end I reckon there’ll be a fair bit of competition,” Romyn says.

“We’ve had a pretty wide variety of groups, from traders, people looking at refurbishing the property to lease out. We’ve had a couple of hotel groups, a student accommodation (group) and investors.”

“We’ve had a couple of owner-occupiers, one educational-based, and a couple of larger guys with businesses.”

There might be a bit of curiosity in inspecting it, but the people looking at it are more interested in the location and the actual asset itself

The building features around 4000sqm of lettable space on a 1139sqm site, sits opposite the Broadway Shopping Centre and will be sold with vacant possession.

Romyn says the building’s current fit-out is very specific to the Church of Scientology’s needs, and would almost certainly be reworked to accommodate a new owner or tenant.

The Glebe building is spread over four storeys, with around 4000sqm of lettable space.

The Glebe building is spread over four storeys, with around 4000sqm of lettable space.

“It’s got a significant, specific custom fit-out for the Scientology, so a lot of that will have to come out. Whoever buys it would use the existing building but ultimately they’ll have to strip it out.

“The building … partitions.  The building is specifically used by the Church as an educational and religious facility and there are lots of rooms for these purposes”.

Romyn says that while the building’s history in Scientology sparks inevitable discussion, the property sells itself.

“There might be a bit of curiosity in inspecting it, but the people looking at it are more interested in the location and the actual asset itself,” he says

Agents estimate the property could sell for around $4000 per square metre, which would place it around the $16 million mark.