Shakespeare checks out of Canberra hotel

Sydney based fund manager Serene Capital has snapped up an office converted hotel, five kilometres south of Canberra’s parliamentary precinct at Woden, for $41.5 million.

The Abode Hotel and Apartments Woden (or Abode Woden) at 10 Bowes Street was offered by Melbourne based Shakespeare Property Group, which paid $28.8m in late 2014 – reflecting a high 9.5 per cent yield.

That seller, major local builder Geocon, offered it with a 15 year leaseback; Abode is a brand of its for its Iconic Hotels arm.

Geocon was also responsible for converting the building, once the Juliana House office, into a 151 room guesthouse with three conference spaces, restaurant and dining room.

Following that conversion – believed to have cost c$30m – the property was the first Australian inn to be Green Star and NABERs rated.

CBRE’s Michael Simpson, Vasso Zographou and Tristan Cotchett brokered the latest deal.

Serene will hold the Abode in the Serene Capital Hotel Fund 1, now seeking to generate further capital from wholesale investors following a $20m raising earlier this year.

Abode Woden will be the trust’s 10th asset; also in Canberra, it owns Dickson’s Adina Serviced Apartments (story continues below).

Shakespeare checks out

Shakespeare vice president – Hospitality Assets & Investments, Richard Saab, said the Abode Hotel & Apartments sale will deliver its investors a high 15.7pc internal rate of return.

“With circa $2 billion of commercial and hotel properties, we considered it timely to sell the asset and redeploy the capital into other investment opportunities,” he added.

Led by Yak Yong Quek, the group has been an active investor, recently picking up an East Melbourne office from Dexus for $213.7m, and, in Sydney, the CBD’s Domain House office ($132.95m) and Surry Hills’ Reservoir on Crown ($115m).

In Queensland, the group also bought the Palazzo Versace freehold, on the Gold Coast, for $114m, and a 15 storey Brisbane CBD office, 500 Queen St (for $66m).

A sister company, Prime Asset Management, also made what might be considered counter-cyclical purchases, including in December, 2020, when it paid Stockland $89m for a portfolio of four Melbourne aged care clinics – 10pc below the June, 2020, book value.

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Marc Pallisco

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