Intercontinental Hotel Double Bay sells for $180m to Melbourne apartment developer Fridcorp


The Intercontinental Hotel, Double Bay, has sold for circa $180m to an apartment developer.

The Intercontinental Hotel Double Bay, where Princess Diana stayed in 1996 and INXS frontman Michael Hutchence was found dead a year later, has sold for circa $180m to an apartment developer.

The Agency’s Steven Chen brokered the deal, sources told the Wentworth Courier exclusively early Monday.

The buyer, Melbourne apartment developer Fridcorp, later released a statement confirming it had purchased the refurbished Bates Smart-designed 140-room hotel and land in a joint venture with Piety Group from vendor Shanghai Group, who’d paid $140m four years ago.

The Intercontinental was known as the Ritz Carlton in the 1990s when it was the hotel of choice for the likes of Princess Diana, Madonna, Bill Clinton and Sir Elton John.


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Intercontinental Sydney Double Bay rooftop pool

The Intercontinental Double Bay has a rooftop pool and bar.

Diana, Princess of Wales, leaving Ritz-Carlton Hotel at end of her visit to Sydney.  australia royalty

The late Princess Diana, photographed leaving the Double Bay hotel at the end of her visit to Sydney in 1996.

The circa $180m sale price is triple the $60m that the prominent site sold for just eight years ago.

The deal is understood to have been done on Friday.

Several other prominent Sydney-based apartment developers are known to have been interested in purchasing the hotel.

Given the huge price paid, sources say it “Absolutely must be a development site.”

The Courier approached Fridcorp founder and director Paul Fridman for comment ahead of breaking the story. Fridcorp later sent a written statement confirming the sale and noting that in 2011, Woollahra Council had granted a permit to demolish the existing hotel and add an eight-storey residential building and retail offering to take advantage of the incredible harbour views.

In 2017, Shanghai United, with Zopon Real Estate, had purchased the hotel from Singapore’s Royal Hotel Group, who did a multimillion-dollar refurbishment after buying it for about $60m as a vacant property in 2013.

Diana Princess of Wales looking out of balcony door at Ritz Carlton, Double Bay, Sydney hotel.

Diana Princess of Wales looking out of balcony door at the hotel, then known as the Ritz-Carlton.

Former USA president Bill Clinton at forum on world peace in Sydney.

Former US president Bill Clinton during his Sydney visit when he stayed at the hotel.

The property had been in a poor condition, but Royal gave it a complete facelift and added the rooftop bar and pool.

The hotel had sat unused for more than six years, having traded up until 2009 as the Sir Stamford Double Bay.

Royal Hotels reopened the revamped hotel, which sprawls over 3670 sqm, as the Intercontinental.

Fridcorp director Paul Fridman (L) and Daniel Besen of Besen Private Equity Investments.

Fridcorp director Paul Fridman.

INXS frontman Michael Hutchence was found dead at the hotel in 1997.

The luxury hotel sprawling over 3670 square metres, originally opened as a Ritz Carlton Hotel in 1991 and was later rebranded as the Sir Stamford Double Bay in 2001 before becoming the Intercontinental Sydney Double Bay in 2014.

Fridcorp is most prominent in Melbourne, though it is also behind a 563-apartment project called Beyond currently being built across four buildings in Hurstville, which is due for completion this year.

It has also developed the Eve and Wonder apartments in Erskineville.