The Fantauzzo Brisbane changes hands in Australias first major hotel sale during COVID-19
The Fantauzzo Brisbane changes hands in Australia's first major hotel sale during COVID-19
| 24 September 2020
Ghassan Aboud’s Crystalbrook Collection has acquired The Fantauzzo Brisbane – Art Series Hotel in its latest foray into the Australian market.
Situated beneath Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge overlooking the Howard Smith Wharves, the new contemporary hotel features 166 rooms and suites, the renowned Italian Polpetta kitchen and bar, the elevated Fiume bar along with a rooftop pool, fitness centre and meeting spaces.
CBRE Hotels’ National Director Wayne Bunz steered the confidential, off market transaction on behalf of the Deague Group.
“This represents an exciting investment opportunity for Crystalbrook Hotels as it expands its stable of leisure and corporate hotels across Australia,” Mr Bunz said.
“The Fantauzzo is already recording strong weekend occupancies, underpinned by its location in one of Australia’s most successful entertainment precincts, Howard Smith Wharves. This deal represents the first major Australian hotel sale in 2020 during COVID-19, signalling that investors anticipate a recovery in the hotel sector.”
The acquisition marks Crystalbrook’s entry into the Brisbane market and adds to its operations in Sydney, Byron Bay, Cairns, Newcastle and Port Douglas.
Mr Bunz noted that Queensland, and Brisbane in particular, were currently the most sought-after hotel investment markets in Australia, with further transactions pending.
“Brisbane owners are well positioned to capitalise on a hotel market recovery given the city’s limited supply pipeline, with only the Queens Wharf and Hotel Indigo projects set to open in the near term,” Mr Bunz said.
The sale of The Fantauzzo was negotiated on behalf of the Deague Group – a long-standing player in Australia’s hotel sector. The group developed several Quest Serviced Apartments nationally and converted the former PANCH hospital in Melbourne into an 850-plus room hotel before launching the Art Series brand and developing eight boutique properties around Australia.
Deague Group CEO Will Deague said; “We are pleased to have sold this truly 5-star property to a group that will celebrate the architecture and vibrant precinct of Howard Smith Wharves. The hotel journey was always a property development play for our group hence our decision to sell.”
The property, which this year won Queensland’s top award for commercial architecture,
celebrates photo-realist painter Vincent Fantauzzo, with up to 300 of his works and digital prints on display throughout the hotel.
The official handover will occur in the first half of 2021. Upon handover, the hotel will trade under Crystalbrook Collection with the official new name to be announced in the coming months. Until the acquisition is complete, the hotel will continue trading under the management of Art Series Hotels (ACCOR).
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