By Clyde Mooney – editor Australian Hotelier

A Bondi hotel has become the biggest pub sale of 2014 after being snapped up for $37 million just hours after the EOI campaign closed.

On the market for only four weeks, Bondi Junction’s Tea Gardens (pictured) was unquestionably a highly sought after asset, known as a local pub icon that has also jumped 40 places in the list of top gaming venues.

The impressive sale was managed by Ray White Hotels, with Asia-Pacific director Andrew Jolliffe telling TheShout it was part of the boom in Eastern Suburbs pub assets, and “illustrative of the highly sought after nature of irreplaceable assets like [these]”.

"Our interstate clients had owned the hotel for eight years – a typical investment cycle time frame – and saw the current hotel landscape as an appropriate point in time to exit their investment.

"Interest in the hotel, given its unparalleled position in such a vibrant retail precinct, was heady, and we received almost 100 qualified enquiries from a mix of hoteliers, serviced apartment property developers and international gaming operators."

The vendor in this sale was Melbourne-based ALG (Aussie Leisure Group), which reports remote management of the hotel was not always in line with its diverse business interests.

“We have previously and currently still own some fantastic properties across Australia, [but] it was time to divest this one as it became a little challenging for us at times, being a Melbourne-based group,” says ALG Director Proko Athanasakos. 

“We engaged Andrew Jolliffe exclusively and he delivered, as we knew he would.”

Jolliffe could not disclose information about the incoming operator except to say they are “a domestic investor who identified the opportunity as uncommon, and unmissable”.

The Tea Gardens sale marks another milestone transaction for Jolliffe at Ray White Hotels’, having also laid claim to the highest sales of 2013 – Greenfield Tavern for circa $30 million, and 2012 – Caringbah Inn for $44 million. 

In another local matter of interest, Jolliffe has recently sold Surry Hills’ KB Hotel to a new operator – less than six months after selling it to a keen property developer, who invested in the inner-city local and gave it a new lease on life.

The Shout Team

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

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