Billionaire mining couple Twiggy and Nicola Forrest set their sights on Sydney as they spend $575m on Australia’s first Waldorf Astoria: Here’s what they’re planning
- Andrew and Nicola Forrest purchase planned Waldorf Astoria hotel
- The luxury hotel cost the billionaire couple around $575 million
- It is part of a $3.1 billion upgrade to Circular Quay
Mining magnate Andrew Forrest and his wife Nicola have set their sights on the east coast after raking in billions in Western Australia by buying the exclusive Waldorf Astoria Hotel project planned for the nation’s most iconic waterfront.
The 25-storey, 220-room luxury hotel on Sydney’s Circular Quay was acquired by Fiveight, the real estate arm of the billionaire couple Tattarang’s investment firm, for $575 million from Lendlease and its joint venture partner Mitsubishi Estate Asia.
But the Forrests may have gotten a discount by paying much of the cost up front, and sources at the billionaires’ firm say the price was closer to $520 million.
The Waldorf Astoria is expected to be the most expensive hotel in the country and will be the brand’s first foray into Australia.
The hotel promises sweeping views of Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and is part of a $3.1 billion project to upgrade Circular Quay, which would include a 59-story luxury residential building along with a precinct commercial.
The 25-story, 220-room Waldorf Astoria luxury hotel on Circular Quay (a floor plan of the hotel pictured) has been bought by the couple’s Fiveight company for $575 million.
Andrew and Nicola Forrest (pictured) have invested in the exclusive Waldorf Astoria hotel
One Circular Quay ‘premium’ apartment building will adjoin the hotel on the site of the former Gold Fields House (pictured view from apartments)
Hotel guests will have access to luxury services including restaurants, spa and wellness facilities and an indoor pool, Lendlease said in a statement.
It will also include ballrooms and event spaces, boardrooms, a rooftop bar and restaurant.
The hotel will begin construction in June this year and is expected to be open by the end of 2026.
The sale of the hotel for 575 million dollars – which is equivalent to about 2.6 million dollars per room – attracted the interest of a large number of buyers, the Australian Financial Review informed.
The 25-story hotel will be designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates and built by Lendlease.
Forrests firm Fiveight will also own and develop a 4,500-square-foot retail space. Retail space will include 11 stores on the ground floor of the hotel and in the residential complex.
The 59-storey One Circular Quay ‘premium’ apartment building will be next door to the hotel, on the site of the former Gold Fields House.
Tattarang said the long-term investment in the hotel and buildings kept the “centre piece” of the Circular Quay redevelopment in Australian hands.
Tattarang co-owner Nicola Forrest said the investment in the hotel was part of the company’s strategy to invest in and shore up Australia’s infrastructure.
Sources close to Tattarang said the price tag for the hotel and retail assets cost the Forrests about $520 million (a plan of what the new hotel and residential apartments will look like in the photo)
“Circular Quay is a unique and instantly recognizable place in the world that continues to welcome millions of visitors from near and far each year,” Ms Forrest said in a statement.
“As long-term investors, we believe this development can play an important role in the future rejuvenation of the Circular Quay precinct in general.
“We are committed to engaging with Lendlease and the surrounding community towards an even brighter future for Australia’s gateway city.”
Ms Forrest also said that the 11 retail brands will present the best products Australia has to offer.
Hilton Australasia director Paul Hutton, owner of the Waldorf Astoria brand, said the hotel heavyweight was excited to have the brand Down Under.
Lendlease also said its One Circular Quay residential complex, which includes a three-story penthouse with sweeping views of Sydney Harbour, has seen unprecedented buyer interest.
“We are committed to engaging with Lendlease and the surrounding community towards an even brighter future for Australia’s gateway city,” said Ms Forrest (pictured).