Howard Smith Wharves founders and directors Adam Flaskas and Paul Henry have acquired Manly Wharf, at the start of Sydney’s Northern Beaches region, for $80 million.

The heritage-listed Manly Wharf was sold by TMG Developments, with the sale negotiated by CBRE’s Simon Rooney and James Douglas.

Manly Wharf was originally constructed in 1855 as a passenger terminal for the Sydney to Manly Ferry. It has since been transformed into a hospitality destination, which is home to an array of venues including Hugo’s, Queen Chow by Merivale, and the Manly Wharf Hotel. TMG Developments, run by Robert Magid, have owned the freehold of the Wharf since 1995.

“We are honoured to be the new custodians of the historic and iconic Manly Wharf,” Flaskas said.

“We’re looking forward to deeply connecting with the Manly community and providing a family friendly, sustainable and cultural entertainment precinct, offering the freshest, highest quality produce to the local community and visitors of Manly Wharf.”

Flaskas and Henry redeveloped Brisbane’s Howard Smith Wharves in 2018, turning an historical industrial site from the 1930s into an award-winning hospitality precinct, making them ideal overseers for Manly Wharf’s next chapter.

“With such incredible history in the area, we’re excited to embark on this new journey, breathing new life into such an iconic site. Manly has a loyal community that welcomes people from everywhere to this special place where the harbour meets the beach.”

“Sustainability will be a big focus of ours, firstly focusing on landfill diversion. We’ve been able to achieve 95 per cent landfill diversion at Howard Smith Wharves, which will be a big goal to work towards.”

Henry added:“As a Sydney boy born and raised, I have many fond memories of Manly and it special offerings. I am so excited for what the HSW team plan to bring to Manly, respectful of its iconic history, the local community, the natural playground, and the visitors to our great city.”

In addition to the freehold of the Wharf, Flaskas and Henry have also acquired the leasehold to Manly Wharf Hotel – better known as Manly Wharf Bar – off Ben May. The hotel right on the jetty is one of the most popular spots in the Wharf precinct.

The Howard Smith Wharves team has also acquired the leasehold of Manly Wharf Hotel, which sits right on the jetty. Image: Facebook.

“We’re really looking forward to operating the Manly Wharf Hotel, which is right at the heart of the wharf and the local community,” stated  Flaskas.

“Team retention will be a key focus through the transition. This is a new and exciting chapter in Manly Wharf’s history.”

Regarding the Manly Wharf sale, Rooney said that as a recognised international landmark, the precinct had attracted significant interest from various international and domestic parties.

“Manly Wharf has long been a sought-after asset given its landmark harbourfront location on Sydney Harbour, which serves as the highly patronised gateway to Manly and Sydney’s northern beaches,” Mr Rooney said.

“Investors were attracted by Manly Wharf’s robust trading performance, renowned tenant offering and flexibility around the future potential to strategically remix the tenancy profile and capitalise on multiple value-add opportunities for income and asset value growth.”

Magid, who has owned the freehold for close to two decades now and helped revitalise Manly Wharf as a hospitality precinct, reflected on how far the site has come under TMG Developments’ tenure.

“It was one of our first property purchases. We purchased it from receivers. It was built back-to-front with the back to the harbour; tenants not paying their rent,” Mr Magid said.

“But we saw the great potential. We redesigned the wharf, took advantage of the amazing location, added a floor and brought in some excellent tenants. “We are delighted that we have sold the wharf to such a focused, imaginative and competent team and wish HSW to take the wharf to an international stage.”

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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