Syrian billionaire ‘very keen’ on Melbourne CBD hotel opportunityPosted by On

A move into the Victorian capital is part of an expansion drive that will see Crystalbrook open its first hotel in Adelaide in two years’ time and develop a flagship property at The Rocks in Sydney. Discussions are also advanced on another hotel opportunity in the Sydney CBD.

A move into New Zealand is also on the cards. Mr York and his team identified two “real development opportunities in Queenstown” following a visit last year.

“We’re trying to progress one of those,” he said.

The 200-room Adelaide CBD hotel being developed on Halifax Street by Samaras Group will be the first to be operated by Crystalbrook under a hotel management agreement – part of a strategy to move away from a pure ownership model.

“Central to growth is moving into HMAs and undertaking co-investment,” Mr York said.

He said to be selected as the operator of the Adelaide hotel – to be called Crystalbrook Sam – was testament to the group’s robust operating platform and its strong track record as a hotel owner.

“Because we own hotels, we get valuations and cap rates and developers really like that. We’re not just another hotel operator,” he said.

Middle East family business

A second HMA deal is “98 per cent” finalised in Sydney, Mr York said, while it was also open to HMA deals in markets such as the Gold Coast.

Financing this expansion is Dubai-based Mr Aboud, whose GA Group is one of the biggest family businesses in the Middle East with operations spanning automotive, retail,…

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