[+] Hotel plans filed as Chinatown’s ‘sleeping dragon’ awakens

By on June 1, 2022 0

The sleeping dragon of urban renewal has awakened in Sydney’s Chinatown with a new hotel proposal, the latest in a growing number of plans for the precinct on the southern edge of the CBD.

Malaysian real estate and hospitality giant Mulpha has unveiled a proposal for a $60 million, 18-storey hotel with 279 rooms in bustling downtown Haymarket.

It is intended for a 718 m² infill site occupied by two former century-old warehouses at 355-357 Sussex Street.

The design of the project is aligned with the new millennial avant-garde of small, stylish but unpretentious and funky hipster hotel brands, such as citizenM and Ace, which offer what is known as “affordable luxury”.

Mulpha, owner of a portfolio of leading Australian hotel assets in Sydney, Perisher, Hunter Valley, Hayman Island, Sanctuary Cove and Cairns, is currently in negotiations with potential operators.

In its submitted planning documents, it suggests it is looking to secure “a reputable hotel operator, who will bring an innovative concept that differentiates itself from other current operators in Sydney”.

“We are delighted to continue our long strategy of expanding our hotel and hospitality elements within the Mulpha Group, including the development of new sites such as this,” said Mulpha’s Executive Managing Director. , Tim Spencer. The urban developer.

“It is extremely difficult to set foot on any site in the central business district of Sydney. We had been looking for over three years.

“Obviously things have been shaken by Covid, but we still strongly believe that the long-term demand requirement and positioning of hotels in Sydney – as an international city – is quite strong.”

Mulpha is also currently undertaking a $150 million renovation of the Intercontinental Hotel at Circular Quay in Sydney.

▲ A rendering of Mulpha’s proposed hotel development at 355-357 Sussex Street, Haymarket, in Sydney’s Chinatown.

Spencer said planned and ongoing urban renewal in Haymarket and surrounding Chinatown would bode well for the company’s proposed new hotel asset.

“It certainly reinforces our belief in a hotel development in this area, which is increasingly accepted by the general public as a place where a good upscale hotel could succeed,” he said.

In its development application filed with Sydney City Council, the proposal is described as “a new compact luxury hotel”.

“The unique features of the site together with the strategic location at the southern end of Sydney’s CBD, close to Darling Harbor and a number of tourist attractions, provide an excellent opportunity to redevelop the site for related purposes. tourism,” he said.

Although the two existing buildings on the site are not heritage listed, the proposal includes retaining and integrating the brick facade of the former five-storey warehouse at 357 Sussex Street as a “remnant of a building of this type…and a significant contributor to the character of the streetscape”.

Built around 1916 for Foley Brothers, it served as a warehouse store for its products. The neighboring four-storey building at 355 Sussex Street dates from 1891, but has been heavily altered, including significant changes to its facade.

“We’ve established extensive liaison with the council around the built form,” Spencer said.

“We are heritage believers… we are not afraid of this aspect, we think it adds authenticity to a project and we see it as a real plus.

▲ The hotel proposed to replace the former headquarters of the NSW branch of the Transport Workers’ Union.

According to the DA, the Cottee Parker-designed hotel will feature a tower set back 6m from Sussex Street and rising above a 5-6 storey podium.

Capped with a “glass box top” on its upper two tiers that captures reflections of the sky, its infill elements will be expressed “in a contemporary idiom” that resonates with its surroundings.

“Materials salvaged from 357 Sussex Street will be reused in the new building to restore its three-dimensional presence behind the retained facade and to create an inviting lobby and restaurant/bar area on the ground floor,” it said. -he declares.

Mulpha’s Haymarket Hotel proposal is part of a new era of urban renewal with a number of infill developments intended for Sussex Street and the surrounding Chinatown precinct.

BVN’s proposal for the 362 m² site is for a 15-story building comprising 146 hotel rooms, three basement levels, a restaurant and a lobby bar.

According to the filings, it is planned to “position itself in the market as a lifestyle-oriented offering.”

TWU sold the property to an entity linked to Sydney-based Chinese property developer Lin Jinwen for $29.15 million two years ago.

The President of Linzhu Sussex Street Hotel plans include a red brick podium with arched windows above which sits a tower with a scalloped glass facade.

Construction costs are estimated at just over $37 million.

▲ The slim profile hotel offered by La Salle Investment Management at 323 Castlereagh Street.

Also along Sussex Street, a Chinatown charity has filed plans for the demolition of a Victorian-style building to make way for a 13-storey mixed-use development.

The proposed $23 million redevelopment is for a 360m² site at 417-419 Sussex Street, which adjoins the rear of the former heritage-listed Kwong War Chong & Co building at 82-84, Dixon Street.

Global fund manager La Salle Investment Management has tabled plans for a new slim-profile hotel at 323 Castlereagh Street in Haymarket.

It acquired the site for $325 million in 2019 and since then has asked to upgrade the existing 24-story retail tower with a two-story podium, and now plans to build a slender 17-story hotel tower on the land between the commercial tower and a neighboring five-story substation.

The 144-key hotel would only be 9.5m wide.

Additionally, restaurateurs Stanley Yee and May Ho Yee are planning a 14-storey tower near the gates of Sydney’s Chinatown.

▲ A rendering of the tower proposed by restorers Stanley Yee and May Ho Yee.

The plans, which will replace the Emperor’s Garden restaurant, are for a tower designed by PTI Architecture on the 451m² site at 96-100 Hay Street, Haymarket.

The Yee family has owned the sites for over 30 years as well as a bakery, butcher and noodle shop.

The tower proposal with a restaurant podium designed by PTI Architecture retains part of the original facade of the building, creating 922 m² of commercial space on three levels with a 10-storey tower above, comprising 37 apartments.

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