$5.9m three-level 1890s CBD backpackers building for sale

The Backpackers Imperial Hotel at No.138 Collins St, Hobart is on the market. Picture: Supplied

IT is far from the norm for a building of this size and position to hit the market.

Located in the centre of Hobart’s CBD, the Backpackers Imperial Hotel is a three-level, historic building with 69 guest rooms, plus five staff rooms.

It is Tasmania’s largest backpackers, and also among the largest in Australia.

Knight Frank’s John Blacklow and Claude Alcorso said it was uncommon to see a freehold and business such as this for sale.

“It is rare for a CBD building of this size to come onto the market,” Mr Blacklow said.

“With a floor area of 2776sq m, the rate per square metre is only $2125 — significantly less than other buildings.”

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The Backpackers Imperial Hotel.

The Backpackers Imperial Hotel.

The 1890-built building — which was once a tea house, then a hospital — has capacity for over 150 guests, with a mixture of queen, twin, triple, single, bunk and dormitory options available.

Throughout the building there are kitchen, laundry, dining and lounge areas for guests, plus a manager’s residence.

The backpackers’ business has a history dating back over 30 years.

Mr Alcorso said the accommodation income is a mixture of permanent guests and casual letting.

“About 45 guests live there on a semipermanent basis,” he said.

“Current revenue exceeds $1m, up 37 per cent from the previous year.

“January 2024 was a record month, so it is fair to say the backpacker market is thriving in Hobart.

“With the owner living interstate, the business has always operated under management.

“There is tremendous upside for new owners to implement a different business strategy, particularly in social media.”

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The Backpackers Imperial Hotel.

The Backpackers Imperial Hotel.

No.138 Collins St, Hobart is listed for sale at $5.9m excluding GST. Contact Mr Blacklow or Mr Alcorso for details.

Meanwhile, Hobart City’s Lands Building has been sold to Terraplex for $57.5m.

This huge sale follows a number of multimillion dollar deals around the city, including an Art Deco building on Liverpool St, the Hobart Day Surgery, the Cascade Hotel and a historic stone building at No.81 Salamanca Pl, Battery Point.

The Backpackers Imperial Hotel.

The Backpackers Imperial Hotel.

The agents said it was fair to describe Hobart’s commercial market as “very strong”.

“City buildings are attractive compared to the construction costs, with existing assets well below replacement costs of a new build,” Mr Blacklow said.

“Vacancy rates, particularly in the office and industrial sectors, are the lowest in the country.

“The Hobart market is strong and very attractive to mainland and overseas investors.”