Harvest Hotels have added another pub to their regional NSW Pub Fund, with the acquisition of Jerrabomberra Hotel in Queanbeyan.

The Jerrabomberra Hotel is situated on 2759 sqm opposite the Jerrabomberra Village Shopping Mall and includes a bistro, sports bar and gaming room with 30 EGMs, as well as a drive-through bottle shop, and is the first acquisition by Harvest Hotels after consolidating two separate funds into the Harvest Pub Fund.

Founder and managing director Chris Cornforth said Harvest Hotels has been exploring prospects in the Queanbeyan Local Government Area for a number of years.

“We’ve previously owned and operated pubs in the nearby community of Yass, so are well acquainted with the broader region: and in meeting all our required demographic metrics, Queanbeyan has been a target area of ours for a long time,” stated Cornforth.

The sale of the pub was brokered by HTL Property’s Dan Dragicevich and Sam Handy.

“The Jerrabomberra Hotel is an A-grade regional venue that presents all the intrinsic fundamentals that astute purchasers are drawn to. Exclusive catchment, high foot traffic positioning and ample parking are strategic trading cornerstones which enable successful trading longevity,” stated Handy.

“Harvest Hotels has proven themselves to be astute purchasers over their tenure and the Jerrabomberra acquisition is no different,” added Dragicevich.

“Queanbeyan is situated on the border of NSW and the ACT resulting in the township effectively drawing on a population base of over 450,000 serviced by only five NSW licensed hotels.”

Jerrabomba Hotel joins eight other regional NSW pubs in the Harvest Pub Fund, which also includes The Courhouse Hotel, Tamworth; Brady’s Railway Hotel, Albury; The Milestone Hotel, Dubbo; and the William Farrer and Victoria Hotels in Wagga Wagga.

“Having recently consolidated two funds to create Harvest Pub Fund, we’ve been extremely vigilant in making sure we secure properties and businesses that not only align with our strategic plan and can generate a strong return for investors, but that also complement the existing high-quality assets that we have under management,” stated Cornforth.

Harvest Hotels also has another pub fund, Pub Fund 3, comprised of four suburban Adelaide pubs under management, including the Crown Inn in Old Reynalla and the Brahma Lodge Hotel.

“Both Funds are performing well, with Harvest generating an IRR of 17 per cent since its inception in 2014,” Cornforth told Australian Hotelier.

“We add value through repositioning pubs via capital works program and implementing other operational improvements including its scale and procurement advantages and our customer loyalty program. We will look to continue to grow our portfolio if we can find the right assets within our target regions at the right price.”

Payne family acquires third Armidale freehold

Further north, local hoteliers Tom and Harley Payne have acquired the freehold going concern interest of the Royal Hotel in Armidale. The hotel joins the Paynes’ local portfolio which includes the St Kilda and Grand Hotels.

The sale was brokered by HTL Property’s Xavier Plunkett and Andrew Jolliffe.

“This was a very deliberate strategic acquisition by the Payne family, who also own the St Kilda and separately recently acquired the Grand Hotel through HTL Property. The addition of the Royal Hotel consolidates the family’s stronghold as the largest pub property holders within the major regional city,” stated Plunkett.

The Art Deco hotel sits on a 1836 sqm block and includes a public bar, sports bar and TAB, gaming room with 16 GMEs, commercial kitchen, large bistro with seating for over 100 patrons, 18 accommodation rooms, a 3-bedroom Manager’s flat, a carpark and a freestanding bottle shop all operating on a 3am licence.

“Vibrant sub-metro markets such as the New England are high on the list of investors who have readily identified the diversified income enjoyed by the region, and the prospect for population led growth as migration to regional centres continues to gain momentum,” stated Jolliffe.

The Royal Hotel was sold by DB Pubs, who acquired the pub in 2020. The group decided to divest to focus on core assets in the Hunter Valley region.

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