Hemmes splashes $37m for Tennyson Hotel

The Tennyson Hotel in Sydney sold for more than $37 million.

Hotels magnate Justin Hemmes has paid more than $37 million for the Tennyson Hotel in Sydney’s Mascot to expand his booming hospitality empire.

The Merivale chief executive, who controls The Ivy, The Newport and some of Sydney’s flashiest watering holes, beat two other bidders at auction for the Mascot pub, which sits at the centre of a rapidly gentrifying precinct.

The purchase caps off a busy 18 months for the hotelier. His stable now includes the Coogee Pavilion, The Paddington Inn, The Oxford Tavern, the Queens Hotel in Enmore and others.

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Just fours months ago Merivale saved the nearby Alexandria Hotel from the wrecking ball and it is working on reopening the pub.

Hemmes paid $37,050,000 for the art deco Tennyson Hotel, which has recently undergone a renovation and has 30 poker machine licences, and appears set for a more luxurious future.

But Hemmes says he will be taking “baby steps” at the new venue.

The Tennyson Hotel has undergone a recent renovation.

The Tennyson Hotel has undergone a recent renovation.

“We’ll just get in there and settle in,” he says. “We’ll just do a little bit at a time.”

The popular pub generates a stable income from its 30 gaming machines but was marketed as requiring an upgrade, a specialty of the Merivale operation.

Ray White Hotels director Andrew Jolliffe handled the sale for JDA Hotels. “We’ve had some wonderful success auctioning significant properties in the past, and the industry always supports the certainty of an auction campaign,” Jolliffe says.

Hotel architect Paul Kelly has designed a scheme that recently won development approval that could see the building overhauled to become one of NSW’s top-50 gaming pubs, with the introduction of accommodation possibly fitting with the buyer’s ambitions.

– with Samantha Hutchinson

This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.