NEWS PROPERTY

Hotelier Transmetro has sold its landmark inner-city Brisbane hotel to a Canberra-based company after operating the complex for almost a quarter of a century. The Metro Hotel Tower Mill in Spring Hill changed hands for less than $10 million. The property was snapped up by Canberra’s Interstay Holdings in a low-profile deal. The publicly listed Trans­metro has operated the 3.5-star hotel since 1994, with the sale ­negotiated by Resort Brokers Australia managing director Ian Crooks. Mr Crooks declined to comment further yesterday, but recently said in a statement to the ASX that The Metro Hotel Tower Mill opened in 1966 and had been part of the fabric and history of Brisbane. Transmetro managing director Peter Frawley said the company was pursuing other hotel opportunities in Brisbane that better reflected its strategy of adding more contemporary properties to its portfolio of ­hotels and apartments, located in most Australian capital cities.

Gold Coast buyers have snapped up the multi-tenanted Coomera Waters Tavern for $2.1 million — the first time it has changed hands. The contract on the 23 Harbour Village Pde strata-title property went unconditional today following a marketing campaign by Jared Johnson and Lachlan Marshall, of Ray White Commercial Gold Coast. The tavern is located in the Coomera Waters Marina Village, and was built in after Anchorage Terrace Pty Ltd, linked to Douglas Green, acquired the 534sq m property for $314,600 in 2005.

Four years after it first went on the market, prominent Balclutha business Peggydale has been sold. The 9.93ha cafe, function centre and shop complex at Balclutha’s southern, State Highway 1 entrance has been catering to visitors from around the globe since 1975, when it was founded by local couple Bill and Peggy Jones. After Mr Jones died in 1997, his son Mervyn took on the business with wife Alison, before putting it up for sale in April 2014. The business was sold at auction by real estate agency Harcourts Dunedin, on April 10.

Melbourne restaurateur Guy Grossi is selling the premises of corporate lunchtime favourite Bottega on Bourke Hill, with market expectations above $5 million. Mr Grossi owns the 1880s-built two-storey building at 72 – 74 Bourke Street with his wife Melissa, sister and business partner Liz Rodriguez and her husband, Grossi executive chef Chris Rodriguez. The family paid $2.38 million for the property in 2001 with Bottega opening its doors the following year. Last year, the Grossi family expanded its Melbourne food empire with the opening of Pezzo on Flinders Lane. Bottega is run by restaurateur Denis Lucey, who also owns Bistrot D’Orsay on Collins Street. It’s sandwiched between Mr Grossi’s renowned Grossi Florentino restaurant and another Melbourne Italian food landmark, Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar. The Bottega premises will be sold with a lease to Mr Lucey, which was recently extended. Mr Lucey currently pays the Grossi family $211,940 per annum to operate from the heritage brick building which stands on a 198 square metre site and has eight metres of Bourke Street frontage. Savills Australia’s Clinton Baxter, Nick Peden and Benson Zhou have been appointed to manage the expressions-of-interest campaign. Mr Baxter said opportunities to secure prime freehold properties below $10 million in the Melbourne CBD were increasingly rare.

The Taiwanese hotel developer Yeh Family is shopping around for buyers for its 80-room Sydney CBD hotel on 88 Liverpool Street, with an asking price of around $75 million to $80 million. If the sale goes through, it would represent a massive premium for the private group, which bought the heritage Federation building formerly known as Kent House in 2011 from long-time owner, the Spanish Club for $9 million. Since the sale in 2011, the family has forked out about $15 million to refurbish and split the fatigued building into retail and restaurant strata as well as the hotel named Sydney Hotel CBD. The 80 hotel rooms range between single to family rooms. The nine-storey building was previously used as club premises by the Spanish Club, as a place of gathering for Spaniards in Sydney. The former turn-of-the-century trading house has a bold facade. It is understood that at least three Chinese investor groups are scrambling for the property, and negotiations are underway. Some buyers have indicated the price was steep. But in a market that values hotels as the premier commercial property investment, as seen in the latest NAB Commercial Property Survey, released on Wednesday, a sharp price was unlikely to deter investors. In recent times, in the southern end of the CBD where Sydney Hotel CBD is located, several residential/hotel plans have emerged to create a density of similar projects, including the transformation of the infamous Sydney Irish pub Scruffy Murphy’s into a brand new 40-storey hotel and residential tower. Yeh Family has several boutique hotels in the CBD aside from 88 Liverpool Street. It has also lodged plans with the Sydney City Council to transform the nine-level 143-145 York Street heritage-listed commercial building into a hotel.

Marvan Hotels, headed by well-known Sydney publican Marcus Levy, has offloaded its inner-west Sydney pub and hotel, the Bald Faced Stag Hotel in Leichhardt for $7.98 million. The corner property at 345 Parramatta Road comprises a ground-floor bar and 11 hotel rooms on the first floor on a 1300sq m site. Metro Commercial Property Group’s Allan Levy and Jerry Leis closed the deal.

Arthurs Point restaurant and venue Gantley’s is officially closing down after 25 years of hospitality, weddings, parties and conferences. Co-owners Brent Rands and Jared Aldridge will shut up shop on May 11. Auckland’s Marvel Grill and Fireworks Smokehouse will take over the property. Operations manager Lauren Law said: “We have exciting plans for the new place, which involve similar menus to Auckland with the grill format, plus a lot of smokehouse dishes and a large, exciting bar concept”. The name of the new restaurant was subject to change but was likely to be called Marvel Grill Queenstown. Ms Law hoped it would be open by September, after renovations.

The Williamstown Junction Guest House and Lodge, which is in Newport, has sold to a Sydney-based owner operator, who will retain its use as a boutique accommodation venue. Identified by a distinctive 1875 bluestone cottage, 481 Melbourne Road sits on a 1606 square metre site zoned General Residential – which meant it could be marketed to non-hospitality users, including aged care, or education providers. After failing to sell following a campaign managed by another agency last year, CVA’s Bradley Ellul recently auctioned the property, where it achieved a price of just over $3 million. Three bidders competed for the property which is about 400 metres from the Newport train station, seven kilometres south-west of Melbourne.

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