Howlong Hotel in southern NSW

Capital continues to pour into regional areas with two more pub freeholds – one in Howlong, NSW and the other in Bundaberg, Queensland – changing hands.

The Howlong Hotel in southern NSW was sold after 17 years of ownership by Andrew and Bernadette Kelly to regional publican Adam Drabarek for an undisclosed sum.

Drabarek also owns the large format Imperial Hotel in Coonabarabran, with the Howlong to become his second venue.

The Howlong Hotel was refurbished by the Kellys during the lockdown period, and occupies a corner site of over 2,000sqm and comes with entitlement for seven gaming machines.

The sale was facilitated by JLL Hotels executive Greg Jeloudey who said diversification continued to be the theme in 2022.

“With unprecedented capital pouring into regional NSW, buyers are actioning aggressive acquisition strategies to achieve scalability.”

Grand Hotel, Bundaberg

The Bundaberg Grand Hotel in Queensland has also sold for around $4 million to an undisclosed buyer.

The Grand Hotel occupies a large corner freehold and includes a large bar, restaurant, beer garden and events space, and recently underwent a $1 million refurbishment.

The hotel also contains 27 accommodation rooms which the previous owners used to provide 90 beds for backpackers and short stays, and the property includes seven retail tenancies spread across both of the pub’s street frontages.

This sale was managed by CBRE Hotels’ national pub director Paul Fraser, who led the sales campaign on behalf of the possessing mortgagee, High Country Pastoral Pty Ltd.

Fraser said, “The Grand Hotel presented the opportunity for an incoming purchaser to reposition the hotel as either an operator or lessor. With multiple options available the asset is perfectly positioned for a complete rejuvenation, which would cement it as a keystone property in the Bundaberg CBD.”

CBRE foreshadowed the sale of further regional Queensland pub assets in the coming months to capitalise on buyer demand.

“This sale evidences the current strength of Queensland’s regional pub market. With lockdowns, travel restrictions and capacity limits now in the past, we expect the market to strengthen even further in 2022.”

The Grand Bundaberg Hotel

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