By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier

The pub transaction trends of late 2016 have continued into early 2017, with Sydney’s inner west and regional coastal areas remaining as attractive markets for hoteliers.

In late January, CBRE Hotels negotiated two separate hotel transactions in line with current trends: Botany View Hotel in Newtown and The Ivory Tavern in Tweed Heads.

Paddy Coughlan of Bourke St purchased the Botany View Hotel at the southern end of Newtown for $6.4 million from the Murphy family who have owned and operated the hotel for 26 years. This purchase follows on from Bourke St’s acquisition of The Hampshire in Camperdown – renamed The Lady Hampshire – in September 2016.

Coughlan’s strategy to purchase pubs south of the CBD are in line with the dispersal of patrons he has observed in recent years.

“I’ve noticed a real shift in recent years, with many Newtown locals gravitating towards the southern end of King Street. The recent acquisition of the Sydney Park Hotel by Ray Reilly and the Queen Victoria Hotel by Justin Hemmes has highlighted this migration trend.”

Coughlan has stated that he will freshen up the F&B offering, while maintaining the live music scene that the pub is known for.

Water views

Moving further north, the leasehold for The Ivory Tavern in Tweed Heads – located just south of the Queensland border – has been snapped up by the Lawless Hotel Group, which is based out of Sydney. This is the second northern NSW hotel purchase for the group, which acquired the Middle Pub in Mullumbimby from Redcape in 2013.

The Ivory Tavern sits on the banks of the Tweed River on 8,800 sqm site and includes a 200-seat restaurant, 14 EGMs, a large wrap-around deck and a 32-berth marina.

Brendan Lawless, owner of Lawless Hotel Group, was thrilled with the purchase.

“The Ivory ticked all the right boxes for me and was exactly what I was looking for as my second venture in the area. It’s not every day you find a waterfront hotel with a marina and the flexible layout will allow me to reposition the hotel and design, to offer a far superior concept to the public.”

Glenn Price, Associate Director of CBRE Hotels, handled the transaction, and noted that coastal New South Wales continues to attract metropolitan hoteliers.

“There has been a continual march north of Sydney based capital in the past two years as hoteliers look for value outside of the Sydney metropolitan region. In the case of northern NSW, the region is in in the enviable position of attracting not just NSW based hoteliers but also Queensland based publicans looking to get a foothold in what is traditionally a tightly held market.”

Lawless plans to renovate The Ivory Tavern immediately, including building a function centre for weddings and other events, upgrading gaming hardware and adding a smoking solution to the gaming room.

“I want to turn the tavern into a place where all age groups are catered for and can come and relax in this truly unique setting. I intend to install a significant children’s play area at the hotel to give parents piece of mind that their children are happy, safe and welcome here.”

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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