With the news that Australia was getting its very first Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Sydney early last year, details about the project have remained few and far between until this week, when it was revealed that the luxury waterfront hotel on Circular Quay has been bought for $520 million by mining billionaire Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest. The highly anticipated $1.3 billion development is being managed as a joint venture between Lendlease and Mitsubishi Estate Asia and will include a new luxury retail precinct as well as a residential tower opposite the hotel building.
The Waldorf Astoria Sydney will contain a total of 220 rooms across the 25-level development, designed by the Tokyo-based architecture firm Kengo Kuma & Associates, whose first project in Australia was the timber hive-like The Darling Exchange completed in early 2020. In contrast, the residential tower was designed by the late Australian architect Kerry Hill and will soar above the Waldorf Astoria with no less than 59 levels, while the retail space will offer brands 11 new prime location boutique spaces for high-end brands.
Forrest’s Fiveight property arm has taken over the contracts for both the hotel and retail spaces, with the AFR reporting an initial price of $575 million ($2.6 million per room) was put forward, however, the final amount was closer to $520 million. Unfortunately for everyone looking forward to experiencing what the Waldorf Astoria Sydney offers, the new Andrew Forrest project won’t break ground until March this year and is expected to be finished by 2026.