Venues

Justin Hemmes swoops in with $200m purchase of Kings Green for Merivale empire

Hospitality tsar Justin Hemmes made another massive business move; acquiring Kings Green in the Sydney CBD for $200m.

The billionaire has plans for one of his trademark high-end bar and restaurant precincts.

The new operation means he has picked up four buildings in the King, Clarence and York Street precinct between Town Hall and Wynyard.

The Australian reported that it is likely that Merivale will open laneway-style restaurants to activate the buildings that form a land bank adjoining the Hotel CBD on King Street.

Over the next few years, the company will undertake a major revamp of the heritage-listed buildings and likely turn them into the next big entertainment precinct in Sydney.

Merivale does not plan to pursue a major skyscraper on the site, although a boutique hotel may come down the track.

The properties were acquired from TrueGreen Positive Impact Group, a private company that assembled the properties for approximately $170m and had hoped to build a 49-storey green office tower by 2026.

TrueGreen originally planned to capitalise on Sydney’s tower cluster zones, which allow buildings to be almost a third of a kilometre high, but Hemmes’ move will get underway faster and is likely to become one of the next city institutions.

Merivale is currently riding the return of entertainment and restaurants as operators are booked out and patrons flock back to up-market venues.

The hospitality tycoon has been sweeping up pubs, venues, and restaurants over the past year; from the SCG to pubs along NSW coastal hot spots such as Narooma and Byron Bay.

It’s expected that heritage elements of the buildings on the 2143sqm site at Kings Green would be left untouched as has been done at Merivale’s other city venues, according to The Australian.

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