Fund manager Black Fox Property (BFP) has added the Australian Hotel in Ballina on the NSW North Coast to its portfolio. 

Sydney-based BFP, led by Greg Bachmayer and Marc Schwartz, paid $9.5 million for the two-storey corner pub, which was offered for sale by Jackson Quinn and Ken Ellis of Clearwater Hospitality, the owner-occupier of the hotel for the last two years. 

A former CUB sales rep, Quinn first purchased the hotel at 103 River Street back in 2020 for $4 million from publican Patrick Henderson, who had owned the property since 2013. 

Twenty minutes south of Byron Bay, the Australian Hotel occupies a 1800 square metre site, contains 12 gaming machines, 20 first floor accommodation rooms, multiple bars, a beer garden, a stage and operates a 3am liquor licence. 

With 15 car parks and a sports bar with TAB facilities, the hotel site is zoned B3 and allows for prospective structures up to 18 metres, or around seven floors.

Ged Dore’s Tinker Hotels will now operate the property, situated near the centre of the town.  

The property group’s off-market purchase of the historic Australian Hotel was facilitated by Ben McDonald and John Musca of JLL Hotels, and comes eight months after Parras Hospitality paid $31 million for the Shaws Bay Hotel and Fenwick House in East Ballina. 

The sale adds to JLL’s track record of coastal asset sales across Australia, including the Great Northern Hotel in Byron Bay, the Lorne Hotel in Victoria and Gilligan’s Hotel & Resort in Cairns, QLD.

BFP last year purchased the Great Southern Hotel in Berry on the NSW South Coast for $6 million.

Early in 2021, pub baron Stu Laundy teamed up with Fraser Short to buy the The Lennox Hotel in Lennox Head, 10km north of Ballina. The pair are reported to have purchased the hotel from brothers Greg and Clyde Campbell for around $40 million.

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