Investor thirst tipped for Townsville watering hole

The Oonoonba Hotel in Townsville.

One of Townsville’s most popular pubs has been listed for sale in a move that is expected to attract interest from investors looking to secure a presence in North Queensland’s hospitality industry. 

Located on the main junction of Townsville’s CBD, the Oonoonba Hotel is a popular local venue, comprising a beer garden, TAB and gaming area, lounge bar, bistro and eight motel units.

The listing comes as interest in Queensland’s hospitality and tourism sector continues to heat up, with several significant properties recently either being listed for sale or snapped up by investors.

One of the most significant deals is Singaporean group Well Smart Investment Holdings’ expected acquisition of the 3.5-star Club Crocodile Resort in Airlies Beach for between $8 million and $9 million.

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Meanwhile, in Townsville two other hotels are also on the market: the iconic and fully-operational Commonwealth Hotel and the vacant premises of what was the Empire Hotel for 80 years, before briefly being renamed The Republic Hotel.

The Commonwealth Hotel, which was built in 1901 and is listed on Townsville Council’s heritage register, is listed for sale with Ray White Commercial for $990,000, while Elders is selling the former Empire Hotel, which has development approval for a residential block incorporating the heritage-listed building facade.

CBRE Hotels’ Paul Fraser says the sale of the Oonoonba Hotel is expected to capitalise on the ongoing strength of Townsville’s economy.

Townsville's Commonwealth Hotel was build in 1901.

Townsville’s Commonwealth Hotel was build in 1901.

“Townsville is positioned for major economic growth over the coming years, with more infrastructure projects mooted than in any other regional Queensland city,” he says.

“This strong economic outlook paints a strong picture for anyone looking to invest in the growing region.”

“Assets such as the Oonooba Hotel offer an attractive opportunity for an astute investor looking to secure a foothold in a city destined for strong economic growth in the foreseeable future.”

Projects slated for Townsville include the new Townsville Port, multi-million dollar airport upgrade and the $250 million Townsville Stadium.

Ideally the hotel would suit a hands on owner-operator or smaller hotel group

This strong economic outlook paints a strong picture for anyone looking to invest in the growing region

Located on 3739sqm of freehold land at 78 Abbot St, Townsville, Oonoonba Hotel includes a sealed car park with about 60 spaces, a drive-in bottle shop, a central cold room servicing all areas and back of house areas including a commercial kitchen and storerooms.

Power Jeffrey and Co’s Peter Power says Oonoonba Hote also benefits from having undergone an extensive renovations program in recent years.

“Ideally the hotel would suit a hands-on owner-operator or smaller hotel group. Its practical layout provides for efficiencies in staffing and overall ease of operation,” he says.

The freehold will be sold via an expressions of interest campaign, closing on August 10.