Brisbane’s Elephant Hotel sold to Sydney operator

The impressive Elephant Hotel in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.
The impressive Elephant Hotel in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.

Brisbane pub The Elephant Hotel has been snapped up by a Sydney-based operator as the sunshine state continues to be a hit among investors hailing from the south.

The iconic 1237sqm freehold site – first opened as the Prince Consort Hotel in 1888 – has been a popular drinking hole and music venue.

Undergoing several transformations throughout its history, the latest renovation was in 2013 with the expansive, multi-level building now boasting four bars, an outdoor beer garden and a gaming room with 42 machines.

The purchase is the first foray into the Brisbane market for the independent pub group, Tilley and Wills Hotels, based in New South Wales.

Other properties in their portfolio include the Verandah Bar located in the CBD, the Clovelly Hotel in the eastern suburbs and the Greenwood Hotel in northern Sydney.

JLL’s Tom Gleeson and CBRE’s Paul Fraser managed the campaign.

Gleeson says the new owners, Simon Tilley and Nick Wills, have a strong track record in breathing new life into dated entertainment assets.

“They are excited to bring their distinct style to the icon that is The Elephant Hotel and capitalize on the long-term prosperity of the Fortitude Valley precinct,” he says.

The property was sold by John Singleton’s Australian Pub Fund and was the final hotel asset to be sold by the group.

Hitting the market last year, the sale garnered plenty of attention with 60 enquiries and eight offers.

The interest highlights the appetite for large-format freehold hotels with a diverse income stream.

Since 2013, more than 70% of all Brisbane venues sold for more than $10 million have been purchased by interstate or foreign-based investors, according to JLL Hotels & Hospitality.

Other southern buyers are Craig Shearer and Jason Sheather of Open Arms Hospitality.

They had great success with Riverland in Brisbane City and their acquisition of Plough Inn in Southbank three years ago.

That followed the earlier migration north of Jaz Mooney of Pelathon Management Group and Irvin Hotel Group.