Parliament Square Hobart to be Sold with a $300m plus price tag

Parliament Square Hobart to be Sold with a $300m plus price tag

Parliament Square Hobart is up for sale with a price guide of just over $300 million by Melbourne power couple Carol and Alan Schwartz. Directly connected to the Parliament of Tasmania, the 7700sq m site covers most of a city block in central Hobart and includes two office buildings, a five-star hotel and retail. The development, built over seven years, has taken shape around an assortment of heritage buildings, including the Georgian-style St Mary’s Hospital originally constructed in 1847. It has been completed in stages, with the main office building, known as the Salamanca building, now occupied by the state government.

Trawalla Property, a subsidiary of Trawalla Group headed up by Melbourne couple Carol and Alan Schwartz has in conjunction with Citta Property Group and Qualitas been responsible for the delivery of the commercial and hotel development.

The high-profile Schwartz family are powerful players across development, finance and publishing. Carol Schwartz is the daughter of retail and property magnate Marc Besen and sits on the board of ASX-listed company Stockland Group as a non-executive director as well as the Reserve Bank. Schwartz and husband, Alan’s property interests include the Qualitas real ­estate financier and investment manager, while Trawalla Property has ownership stakes or management interests in the Rydges Hotel at Mount Panorama.

The Schwartz family has offered Parliament Square for sale via an international expression of interest campaign through CBRE. The sale will become a marker for the recovering tourism market in Australia and demand for long-leased assets.

Mark Granter from CBRE is marketing the development through an expression of interest campaign and believes it will be the biggest commercial property sale in Tasmanian history. “It’s a big property and I’m not aware of anything else that would come close – it would be the biggest sale for sure,” he said.

Mr Granter expects foreign buyers, who have been prominent in many of the year’s major office deals, to be attracted by the Tasmanian government leases. The FJMT-designed office building, completed in late-2017, has 16 years left on its lease while the podium workplace, due for completion this year, has a 20-year lease. Combined they offer 17,300sq m of lettable space.

The 152-room Tasman Hotel, which will be managed by Marriott and become part of its Luxury Collection, is due to reach practical completion by the end of 2021.

The new hotel will retain original period features and incorporate local artworks as well as promote Tasmania’s growing whiskey industry with its own whiskey bar. When it finally does start trading, The Tasman will be the fourth new hotel to open in Hobart since July last year.

The arrival of the Vibe, Movenpick and Crowne Plaza have already added almost 600 rooms to the city’s hotel inventory, creating a crowded market and putting pressure on room rates. However, tourism has been performing well, with Premier Peter Gutwein recently announcing that visitor spending increased 29 per cent in the March quarter compared with the same period in 2019.


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