Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa is known for offering guests views of Hawaii’s pristine blue ocean waters, and the resort’s new owners, Mirae Asset, are hoping to see another color — green.
The South Korean financial services firm this month closed on its $755.6 million purchase of the 1,230 room property from Blackstone Group, Pacific Business News reported. The deal is Mirae’s second major resort acquisition in Hawaii after it spent $206.9 million on the Fairmont Orchid Hotel on the Big Island last year.
When the deal for the Hyatt Regency was first announced in June, a Mirae official told the Honolulu Star Advertiser that lower interest rates have made investment in overseas real estate more promising. He also added that landmark hotel investments have annual dividend yields of about six percent.
Blackstone acquired the leasehold interest from Goldman Sachs for $450 million in 2013. The group then put a further $100 million into renovating the landmark twin tower resort.
The US resort destination has seen an uptick in acquisitions by Asia investors over the last two years,
Cool Island, Investment Hot Spot
The Mirae acquisition is part of a wave of Asian investment that has washed up on Hawaii shores recently, as companies in the region hope to capitalise on a tourism market being propelled by visitors from the region. An increased interest in US real estate among Asian buyers is also helping to fuel the trend.
In addition to Mirae’s deals throughout the archipelago, an affiliate of another South Korean firm, Koreana Hotels & Resorts, bought a boutique hotel in Waikiki for $10.6 million.
China’s Oceanwide Holdings announced last month that it had signed an agreement with Kerzner International to develop a super-luxury Atlantis resort on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The partnership was facilitated by Colony Capital after the mainland developer acquired the beachfront site last year.
Betting on the Beach
While China’s big investors have targeted headline making hotel acquisitions such as Anbang Insurance’s purchase of The Waldorf Astoria in New York City, other mainland firms have been targeting tropical destinations.
China Capital Investment Group bought Daydream Island Resort and Spa in Australia’s Whitsundays’ island chain in 2015. They also acquired the nearby South Molle Island for a reported A$25 million ($18.9 million) in August. The island, which is popular in backpacking circles, has 12 hectares of developable beachfront land.
China Machinery and Engineering Corporation is said to be in talks with a Sri Lanka-based group to form a joint venture that would construct a $110 million resort on reclaimed islets in the Maldives.
Meanwhile, Entertainment and Travel Group, best known for building the New Century Global Centre in Chengdu province, are proceeding with plans to build a resort on the Federated States of Micronesia’s island of Yap. The so-called mega resort would boast 1,500 rooms on an island that roughly 7,000 people call home.