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”.
FULL ARTICLE PAYWALLED: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/n...l/news-story/1c60970d7f1d3bf82fd4eb36da3fc78f
Keep in mind that George st is blocked to traffic, how are all the taxis from the airport supposed to delivery the hotel guests, from the back alley???
Not quite sure how you can consider this to be "overdevelopment"? It's a 2,500sqm site in one of the best connected parts of the CBD and is wasted as a pub.I love my skyscrapers, architecture and all things shiny and new. But this is just another example of overdevelopment in the city.
I love a beautiful livable city even more.
I agree with the 'getting older' bit, the rest, not so much as I think every era has its good bits and exploring them is part of the fun of history.
While the lockout laws have some part to play, I think it's more changing preferences.
Times change, and changes occur in lifestyle, as has already been noted.
Each generation cries out 'Where has MY Sydney gone?!' Gone the way of the world and Sydney, London, NY, Paris, etc., move on as they always have.
It's when movement ceases you've got to worry.
Apparently a new 'scene' is emerging so committed partygoers and clubbers should put on their party clobber and get out there and party while you can.
I would agree with you if that movement was happening organically, and driven by the changing culture. However in today's case it's due to regulation and restriction by the government forcing this new 'scene' to develop because the other scene is no longer allowed to grow if it wanted to.
It's cultural change by legislation, which seldom works.
What you grow up with is genuinely what sticks in your memory though, and nostalgia tends to take over as you grow older.
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.
FULL ARTICLE PAYWALLED: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/bu...t/news-story/adc6b2f1b3f46a561fc3feb6a514f879