Developers buy InterContinental Double Bay

Allen Linz and Eduard Litver converted Bondi’s Swiss Grand Hotel into apartments.
Though sold for a profit, the InterContinental result fell short of guide.

A consortium comprising local investor Mervyn Basserabie, Allen Linz, director of Rebel Property Group and Capit.el Group’s Eduard Litver, have swooped on the InterContinental Double Bay following a dispute between vendors.

The five-star hotel at 33 Cross St – which made international headlines 26 years ago next month when INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence was found dead there – is speculated to be trading for $215 million.

Sellers, local outfit Piety Group with Melbourne’s Fridcorp, led by Paul Fridman, outlaid c$178m with intentions to immediately refurbish the already revamped space.

That pair applied to create 31 build to sell apartments – all plans which never took off.

They did however attract restaurateur Maurice Terzini to a tenancy mid last year.

The February listing came about after Piety took its partner to court also alleging Mr Fridman occupied the penthouse long term – preventing it from renting at c$9000 a night.

CBRE’s Michael Simpson and Justin Brown with Colliers’ Guillaume Volz were the agents; the guide was c$240m. Earlier reporting of the sale added United Cinemas chief Sam Mustaca as a co-investor.

Rebel and Capit.el are behind several projects including Pacific Bondi Beach, a repurposing of the Swiss Grand Hotel, with 76 units, completed in 2015 (story continues below).

Royal Hotel Group added a rooftop pool and bar to the InterContinental in 2014.

Next chapter

Mr Basserabie, Rebel and Capit.el are expected to proceed with a revamp of the InterContinental Double Bay – much like the vendors, it is also mooted to contain an apartment component capitalising on the north facing water view.

Piety and Fridcorp bought it from Shanghai United Real Estate and Zobon Real Estate which outlaid $140m in 2017.

Singapore’s Royal Group Hotel held it before that; it paid $60m in 2014 then undertook a revamp adding a rooftop pool and bar.

A permit to add two storeys to the 19,045 square metre building was approved in 2011 but lapsed.

On 3670 sqm, also with 156 car parks, the property traded as the Sir Stamford Plaza between 2001-2009. When it was known as The Ritz-Carlton before then, the 140-suite venue hosted Bill Clinton, Elton John, Madonna and the late Princess Diana, George Bush Senior and David Bowie.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of