Fridcorp, Piety pick up Double Bay’s ex-Ritz-Carlton

The Double Bay hotel, with 140 suites over six floors, was developed between 1989-1991.

Fridcorp and Piety Group have quietly acquired one of Australia’s highest profile hotels – on 3670 square metres in one the country’s most exclusive suburbs – for a speculated $180 million.

The InterContinental Double Bay, developed at 33 Cross Street 30 years ago as The Ritz Carlton, was offloaded by Shanghai United which paid $140m in 2017.

That vendor, Singapore’s Royal Hotel Group, outlaid $60m for the then-vacant complex four years earlier; it was responsible for the last refurbishment which added a rooftop pool and bar.

The six storey guesthouse is perhaps best known as where INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence was found dead in room 524 in 1997.

Princess Diana, George Bush Senior, Bill Clinton, Madonna and Elton John are amongst other guests to have stayed.

Between 2001-2009, the complex traded as Sir Stamford Double Bay.

The Agency’s Steven Chen brokered the latest sale, which values every sqm of land at c$49,046.

Hickson Lawyers’ Rebecca Mercer represented the purchasers (story continues below).

What is planned?

Fridcorp and Piety are intending to retain the hotel, which will now undergo a major revamp.

With 19,045 sqm of gross area, it is configured with 140 suites, two bars, function and conference facilities and a 156-bay basement car park. It could be extended; the buyers pointing to a 2011 permit allowing for the site to make way for an eight level residential building offering harbour views.

The deal comes two months after Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond outlaid $21m for a four-floor office on 462 sqm at 356-366 New South Head Rd (a deal which valued every sqm of land at $45,454).

Late last year, Ray White Commercial principal Elliott Placks spent c$7m on a Double Bay property to replace with an asset it will occupy. In 2019, a double storey part-retail investment at 10 Cross St sold for a price reflecting a site rate of $31,174 per sqm.

Three months ago, chef Neil Perry pre-committed to a 419 sqm tenancy at Pallas House, under construction at 30-36 Bay St.

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Marc Pallisco

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