In what’s believed to be the biggest Victorian pub sale to date, NSW group Oscars Hotels has acquired the WestWaters Hotel & Entertainment Complex in Melbourne.
The freehold interest was sold by local private investors with the leasehold interest exited shortly after by Hawthorn Football Club.
According to JLL Hotels & Hospitality which managed the deal, the latest transaction is the largest of its type so far in Victoria, trumping last year’s sale of Bendigo’s All Seasons Hotel for $54.5m to another NSW pub group, Redcape.
WestWaters Hotel & Entertainment Complex occupies a 7,000sqm site in the Caroline Springs retail precinct. The fully integrated entertainment complex incorporates 98 guest rooms under the Mercure brand, and has a large bistro/restaurant and sports bar with TAB, a license to operate 90 gaming machines, conference and wedding facilities, an indoor heated swimming pool, spa & sauna, and extensive on-site parking.
“Within the past six months alone, we have witnessed over $180m of NSW-based capital investing in the Victorian industry across three of the most significant hotel transactions to ever occur in this state,” JLL vice president Will Connolly said.
According to JLL’s managing director John Musca, the sale follows a recent influx of interstate capital into the Victorian pub space, historically dominated by a number of large generational family groups, a trend that is expected to continue.
“We are representing a significant weight of capital moving from NSW to Victoria and similarly South Australia as a natural geographical expansion for operators requiring a national footprint as a response to the supply challenges in an ever-tightening NSW hotel market,” Musca said.