Shock move as Far East puts Ritz-Carlton up for sale

The Far East Consortium is selling the Ritz-Carlton Perth.

Just a week after West Australian Premier Colin Barnett was on hand to turn the first sod at its $400 million mixed-use project, the Hong Kong-listed Far East Consortium has put The Ritz-Carlton Perth on the block.

The ultra-luxury hotel anchors a larger mixed-use development in the Elizabeth Quay precinct and will be sold on a turnkey basis by the developer in a deal structured like the recent $700 million sale of The Ribbon Darling Harbour in Sydney.

That complex deal was struck between private developer Grocon and take-out party, Chinese investor Zhengtang, in the country’s largest hotel sale.

The five-star Perth asset is also expected to set new benchmarks as it will be the first sale of a Ritz-Carlton, with the hotel comparable to a Park Hyatt or Four Seasons.

JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group is marketing the hotel and the 379 luxury apartments will be sold separately.

Due to be completed in 2019 by builder Probuild, the hotel will have 205 rooms, four dining venues, meeting and banqueting facilities and recreational areas.

The Ritz-Carlton brand had made a big return to Australia, with properties also underway in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane

JLL’s Aaron Desange says the Ritz-Carlton Perth will be an exceptional trophy asset and one of the country’s top hotels.

“Its outstanding location will ensure the hotel is well positioned to capitalise on top corporate demand and high-end leisure travellers,” he said.

JLL’s Craig Collins says the Australian hotel market is a focus of investors across Asia.

“There are currently very few trophy assets for sale across key cities in the Asia-Pacific region and we expect to receive interest in this opportunity from large-scale investors based in China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia,” he says.

The Ritz-Carlton brand had made a big return to Australia, with properties also underway in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

WA Planning Minister Donna Farther says the government has invested $440 million in Elizabeth Quay and will reap more than $230 million from land sales and attract a further $2 billion in investment in private buildings.

Perth developer Fini Group and offshore-backed AAIG are planning a separate $500 million apartment and hotel project in the area.