SkyscraperCity Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

· Registered
17,088 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Another nail in the coffin for Sydney nightlife?

From The Tele:

Justin Hemmes confirms he will replace Merivale’s Ivy with an international hotel
EXCLUSIVE, Amy Harris, The Sunday Telegraph

LEGENDARY party palace The Ivy will be knocked down and replaced by a giant hotel.

Hospitality king Justin Hemmes has confirmed the eight-storey Ivy will become a 55-storey international hotel.

Describing the plan as nothing less than “incredible”, Hemmes said the project, which is in the early drafting stages, may take years to complete. He said it would finish the dream he had when he bought the site for $22 million in 2004.

“I always intended it to be a holding development site,” said Hemmes, who admitted the 3000 sqm block has exploded in value. A property value estimation put the site at around $65 million.

“It is just a fantastic site. It’s got so much potential,” he said. “There are so many options available to us and it’s something I want to do properly so we’ll be taking our time.”

But Hemmes said the most likely scenario is a 55 storey hotel — the maximum under the area’s building restrictions.

He said he only intended on having the Ivy for 10 years.

“But (Ivy) proved to be more successful than I thought so this has come later than I expected,” he said.

“That was the reason I kept Ivy as a low-rise development … so it could be knocked down eventually.”

Recent developments in the area have made that prospect more appealing.


As for a start date, Hemmes would only say that design planning was “under way” and “beyond that, all options are being considered”.


· Registered
17,088 Posts
Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Looks like Justin Hemmes has purchased the adjacent building at 312-318 George Street (which had a separate DA in for a hotel development), and will proceed with a mixed use development that will also expand the Ivy.

An expansion of the Ivy, alongside a new mixed-use development, would be a good outcome for the site and the city IMO.

Reading back through some of the comments in this thread, I am surprised people are so dismissive of the Ivy. Nightclubs and late night activity have taken such a hit in this city that redevelopment of the site should be virtually conditional on Hemmes (at a minimum) maintaining the capacity of Ivy as it stands today.

Hemmes buys large CBD site
DECEMBER 11, 2018

Pub mogul Justin Hemmes has taken the biggest bet of his career, buying a large Sydney CBD site adjoining his Ivy party palace for a multi-storey development valued at more than $1.5 billion.

For the first time, the heir to the Merivale dynasty is seeking outside investors to back the billion dollar-plus project which will top out at 55 levels and include Mr Hemmes’s inaugural foray into the world of commercial office development.

The iconic redevelopment of the George Street site, certain to rival nearby Barangaroo’s glitzy entertainment and office precincts, will also likely include hospitality outlets, an expanded Ivy nightclub and possibly even residential apartments and hotel accommodation.


While the residential property market is staggering towards the bottom of the cycle, Mr Hemmes’s investment play is understood to be aiming to capitalise on the surging value of commercial office towers that are trading at record levels as city rents have soared, even outpacing the strong performance of the hotel sector. Mr Hemmes declined to comment when contacted by The Australian last night.


A bullish Mr Hemmes is understood to have aggressively forked out more than $80 million for a 582 sqm Westpac site in George Street — about $10m above price expectations — which adjoins the Ivy.

All up, the amalgamated site directly opposite Wynyard Station encompasses a generous 3500 sqm of space for Mr Hemmes.

The publican-cum-developer, according to sources, is also apparently considering residential apartments and accommodation for the site, with any luxury products designed to capitalise on its prime location and resilience of luxury units at the very top end of the market.

“It will be mixed use with commercial office space and perhaps accommodation and lots of hospitality,” said one senior source last night, adding that Mr Hemmes would definitely be looking for financial backers for the plans which would likely see him also expand the Ivy.


Once completed, a new mixed-use development would eventually provide a longer term income stream for Mr Hemmes as well as diversifying his holdings beyond the hospitality sector.


The move also comes as Sydney’s George Street grapples with delays on the light rail and tough lock-out laws but the prospect of the entrepreneur committing to such a major project could lift the entire precinct.


Mr Hemmes’s new property fronts 312-318 George Street and tenders, handled by selling agents McVay Real Estate, closed in August.


· Registered
17,088 Posts
Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Update from The Oz

Hemmes lifts lid on project
APRIL 03, 2019

Pub titan Justin Hemmes’s $1.5 billion redevelopment will dominate a Sydney city block, taking up to seven years to complete, with world-class local and international architects engaging in a design competition for the proposed five-star extravaganza.

In his first interview on the yet-to-be-named project, the billionaire said he planned a 52,500sq m tower opposite Wynyard Station, amalgamating his Ivy party palace and adding a substantial office component, a luxury hotel and an opulent hospitality precinct.

“I want to revive how we work, play and socialise,” Mr Hemmes told The Australian last night, having settled the purchase of the site late yesterday. He declined to reveal how much he paid for the George Street site.

But sources said the site — occupied by a St George Bank and sold by Westpac and a shelf company called Frisbee Pty Ltd — would have cost the billionaire more than $80 million.

Mr Hemmes estimates that gaining planning approval for the project could take up to three years and construction could take up to another four years.

“I have time to do this. I have time to get it right, time will create a better result. I am not under pressure. The business is going well,” Mr Hemmes said.

The Merivale heir would earn income on the site during the design and planning stages from the incumbent St George Bank branch.
But in a reversal of plans initially formulated in December, Mr Hemmes said he would not be undertaking any residential apartments.

“I am thinking no apartments,” Mr Hemmes said.

In the biggest bet of his career, Mr Hemmes also wants a development partner involved, who would have to “embrace his concepts” and “be very strategic”.

“I will look for the right partner to share the vision,” he said.

The pub baron, with a fortune valued at $1.05bn, went on a pub-buying spree last year and now controls about 70 pubs, restaurants and hotels. He paid $21 million for the Collaroy Hotel on Sydney’s northern beaches, about $23m for the Vic on the Park in inner-west Marrickville and more than $30m for the Royal Hotel on Bondi Road.

The redevelopment of the *George Street site, certain to rival nearby Barangaroo’s glitzy entertainment and office precincts, will probably include an expanded Ivy nightclub.

Mr Hemmes’s investment play is understood to be aiming to capitalise on the surging value of commercial office towers, which are trading at record levels as city rents have soared, even outpacing the strong performance of the hotel sector.

Mr Hemmes’s new property fronts 312-318 George Street.

Tenders, handled by selling agents McVay Real Estate, closed last August.

Mr Hemmes is not alone in taking a mixed-use approach to his new site.

Two of the biggest developments under way in Sydney *include plans by Singapore’s SC Capital for a $700m mixed-use hotel and office tower at 4-6 Bligh Street. SC Capital’s proposed skyscraper will incorporate a 400-room Hyatt-managed hotel.

The private Meadowbank-based Billbergia has also won *approval to build a 48-level North Sydney hotel and office skyscraper.


· Registered
17,088 Posts
Discussion Starter · #51 ·
I think it will be very interesting to see where the tower is located on the site.

I imagine the City of Sydney will be very keen to retain Palings Lane and build on the success that Ash Street and Angel Place have been. There’s even scope to extend Ash Street so that it connects up with De Mastre Place. In the long term future, it could even link up with a new Hunter Street Station on Sydney Metro West.

As a result, I think the best location for a new tower is 312-318 George Street, and the part of Ivy that has the pool deck. This works well for most parties, as it should also result in a location that allows Merivale to maximise its height with little if any impact on shadowing the GPO facade in Martin Place.

It does isolate the existing part of Ivy that is the focal point for clubbing (south of Palings Lane), but that might not be a bad thing. This section can remain low rise with shopfronts to George Street and access to the clubbing deck via Ash Street.

I’m glad Justin Hemmes is also proceeding with a hotel component. I think the likes of Marriott’s Edition brand, or Accor’s SO Sofitel would be natural fits as hotel operator. In keeping with Sydney’s slow but noticeable trend towards rooftop bars, here’s hoping Hemmes has something special planned for the highest levels in the tower.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.