Big changes afoot among Sydney’s inner-city pubs
They’re some of our most iconic spots, but inner west pubs are undergoing one of their biggest changes in recent memory.
A pub sales boom is seeing a number of drinking holes go up for sale or be snapped up by eager buyers.
Publican Arthur Laundy, the father of former Reid MP Craig Laundy, is one who has made a punt in a booming market — securing The Oxford Hotel in Drummoyne for a whopping $42 million.
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His purchase of the 974sqm Victoria Rd site comes only two weeks after Michael Wiggins and Joanne Cassar listed the property.
Annandale’s Empire Hotel and the Friend in Hand in Glebe, are two other pubs that have sold in the past fortnight alone.
Oscars Hotel Group paid $10.3 million for the Empire Hotel, while former Wallabies front rower Bill Young paid around $10 million for the Friend in Hand, to bring it back under the Young family’s ownership for the first time in 36 years.
JJL Hotels and Hospitality Group senior vice president Nick Butler says the federal election and interest rate cuts has, like the residential market, lifted activity in the hotel space.
“We’re finding our expertise in structuring deals is being called upon more and more,” he says.
“Yields remain very sharp and the space increasingly competitive.”
Butler, who played a role in the sale of the Empire Hotel, adds pubs with accommodation have become “a new high-margin sought after revenue stream” with many hoteliers looking to properly activate the rooms.
HTL Property managing director Andrew Jolliffe agrees the pub market has boomed in the last few months. “We are now seeing as active a transaction landscape as ever seen for quality hotel operations indexed to best in class gaming performance,” he says.
With Sydney recording close to $900 million worth of pub sales in the past 12 months alone, there are still a number of high profile inner west pubs for sale.
Known hot spot for Hollywood stars Russell Crowe, Naomi Watts and Mel Gibson, Birchgrove’s William Wallace Hotel is for sale with expectations upwards of $5 million.
The recently closed Harold Park Hotel in Forest Lodge is also for sale for a similar price. Located across the road from the 1280 apartment Vance development, the hotel is being targeted at aspiring hoteliers because of a unique purchase plan requiring only an initial $1 million payment.
This article from the Inner West Courier originally appeared as “Inner West pubs undergoing big changes following sales boom”.