Wollongong BW sold

Staff at Wollongong’s Gladstone Avenue Best Western Hotel face an uncertain future as an unnamed buyer prepares to snap up 44 of the complex’s 55 units, according to the Illawarra Mercury.

The hotel’s previous owner, Invest Serviced Apartments, which contracted Best Western as the brand/hotel group, went into receivership in July 2009. Since then, insolvency firm PPB Advisory has managed the property on behalf of Macquarie Bank that became mortgagee in possession of the units. PPB Advisory would not be drawn on the identity of the buyer or the value of the contract, according to the Illawarra Mercury.

There are three full-time, eight permanent part-time and 25 casual staff employed at the hotel.

Before going into receivership, Invest Serviced Apartments sold 10 of the hotel’s units to private investors. Those units have continued to operate as hotel accommodation as they cannot be inhabited on a permanent basis.

A PPB spokesman said, “The new owner, because they’re not buying the business, have requested if they can have a discussion with staff about the new operations but they’re not being transferred.”

The PPB spokesman said while the buyer wanted to remain anonymous for now, he could confirm the building would continue to be run as a hotel. He said rumours the University of Wollongong was the buyer were unfounded.

A Best Western spokeswoman said settlement of the new contract was expected to occur on March 14 after which time the hotel would no longer operate as a Best Western hotel.

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