Unopened Malaysia Sheraton up for sale

The Sheraton Petaling Jaya Hotel is expected to open on September 27, 2017. (Sheraton Petaling Jaya Hotel is for sale )

The Sheraton Petaling Jaya, just outside Kuala Lumpur, won't open until September, but it's already on the market, reports The Edge

The hotel reportedly is on the market via a private sale for a guide price of RM350 million, which amounts to USD $81 million. The hotel is part of the Pinnacle Petaling Jaya, a 1.73-acre development in Jalan Utara, Section 52, Petaling Jaya. It includes Pinnacle, a new high rise building, and office.

The Sheraton PJ, as it is commonly referred to, is owned by J&C Homes Holdings Sdn Bhd, the developer of Pinnacle Petaling Jaya. 

According to The Edge, J&C Homes’ two shareholders are Yong Jian Hoe and Ooi Peng Cuan, who own the company on a 30:70 basis.

The 250-room, 25-story Sheraton PJ includes meeting rooms, a grand ballroom, three F&B outlets, a lobby lounge, a swimming pool and a gym.

The hotel is next to the Armada Hotel and is about a 45-minute drive from the Kuala Lumpur Airport.

The Sheraton brand has been a lighting rod ever since Marriott International acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts. It was the crux of a presentation delivered by Marriott International's chief commercial officer, Stephanie Linnartz, during the company's Investor Day, held earlier this year.

In focus was Sheraton, now Marriott's third-largest brand in its portfolio, but a brand on the end of much scrutiny over its delivery and owner ROI. This was acknowledged by Marriott, and Linnartz focused on the brand's upside now that it's part of Marriott. She did so by retelling past Marriott brand success stories.

"Sheraton has been plagued by poor consumer perception in North America," Linnartz said, pointing to both the physical product and service. "There is a wide gap between the best and the worst hotels," she continued. "There has been poor quality assurance and inadequate accountability."

Linnartz, however, promised that Marriott is working on a turnaround with owners and franchisees. "They are highly motivated to improve the perception," she said.

Linnartz pointed to six initiatives to spur Sheraton improvement:

  1. Address quality gap;
  2. Ensure accountability;
  3. Implement quality assurance process;
  4. Apply operational excellence and rigor;
  5. Engage and align owners;
  6. Renovate hotels.

But improvement is not overnight and takes time, according to Linnartz. "It can take three to six months after owner buy in and renovations, but we believe Sheraton will benefit from our scale," Linnartz said, asking for patience. "We have turned brands around, but it takes time."

One of the other issues is perception: Sheraton properties outside North America are higher on the chain scale; case in point, the Sheraton PJ, which many consider a luxury product.