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Manly Q Station sale to whet hotel operator appetite

The leasehold of the hotel on the historic Quarantine Station on 30 hectares of Manly’s North headland is for sale with the private owners, the Mawland Group, expecting interest from an array of tourism operators and mixed-use hoteliers.

Known as the Q Station, the lease has a value of about $15 million to $20 million and runs until 2051. Mawland, run by property veteran Max Player and business partner Suzanne Stanton, took over the lease in 2006, which is under the care of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

The Q Station, on 30 hectares overlooking the Sydney Harbour waterfront in Manly, Sydney

The Q Station, on 30 hectares overlooking the Sydney Harbour waterfront in Manly, Sydney

After its closure as an operational maritime quarantine facility on March 16, 1984, ownership of the Quarantine Station was transferred from the Commonwealth to the State Government, and it was reserved as part of Sydney Harbour National Park.

Under the lease, which came with some controversy when purchased, Mawland has developed the Q Station into a diverse hospitality venue, with a 105-room hotel, multiple food and beverage outlets and expansive grounds with views overlooking Sydney Harbour.

Likely interested parties are expected to be Justin Hemmes’ Merivale Group and large hotel operator Dr Jerry Schwartz, among others.

“We simply love this place, and always will, but it is now time for someone else to take the offering to the next level and deliver something truly wonderful for Sydney,” said directors Player and Stanton.

HTL Property and CBRE Hotels are joint agents on the sale and said the site has played host to blockbuster films including Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby and Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge.

“This expansive harbour front tourism magnet enjoys the same iconic visitation status opportunity as does the Opera House or Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb,” said HTL Property managing director, Andrew Jolliffe.

“There really are no parallels for it anywhere in Australia in terms of the compelling experiential accommodation and harbourfront hospitality business mix.”

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