NEWS PROPERTY

A regional NSW buyer looking beyond the border to a favourite holiday destination has bought a waterfront development site at Shute Harbour in Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands. The 8199sq m two-title freehold sold for $2.65 million after an expression of interest campaign managed by Ray White’s Andrew Burke and Mark Beale. Mr Burke said marine industry buyers, land bankers and residential developers were among the six parties that submitted offers for 3344 Shute Harbour Road. “The vendor was a local businessman who previously had the site used as a hotel before Cyclone Debbie in 2017 destroyed the buildings and, with retirement on the horizon, they decided to sell,” he said.

Featherston’s 153-year-old iconic, The Royal Hotel is for sale. The Royal Hotel owner Rob Allen said the property was listed on Trade Me prior to Covid-19 as he hoped to focus on his wedding business instead. Allen and his wife Janelle Harrington bought the 12-bedroom Wairarapa hotel with a bar, restaurant and function room, in 2015 to renovate it into a luxury boutique hotel. The multi million-dollar makeover in 2017. “We wanted to redevelop it as a wedding venue for our wedding business. We didn’t intend to be hoteliers. We want to go back to focusing on wedding events again,” Allen said. Allen said the property along with the hotel business was for sale, however due to Covid-19 restrictions interest had been low. Allen was expecting offers between $2 million and $3m.

A well-known hotel in South Melbourne is being sold for the first time in more than 25 years, with expectations of it fetching $3.8 million or more. The freehold component of the Wayside Inn, on the corner of City Road and Ferrars Street near the South Melbourne Market, is being offered for sale by expressions of interest as part of a campaign run by JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group’s Will Connolly and Nick Macfie. The 587-square-metre site is leased to private operators who are on a month-to-month tenancy, according to Mr Connolly, who handled the leasing campaign in 2019.

It takes an awful lot of time, and meals, to make $2.85 million out of serving the likes of beef and black-bean sauce in a restaurant. That sum can also be ‘lost’ far more rapidly, as the owner of the property that housed long-term main-street Surfers Paradise noshery the China House can attest. The restaurant closed a few years back and the property was put on the market in mid-2018. An unconditional sale was made at $3.85 million and a deposit paid but the buyer, who apparently had backpacker ambitions, failed to pay come settlement day last year. Now seller Sing Yip Investments, today owned by Benowa resident Frederick Chan, has gulped and swallowed its disappointment. It’s put the deal behind it big-time, taken a $1 million offer that came with a 14-day settlement period, and has banked the dosh — $2.85 million less than it accepted in 2018. That $1 million sale is $850,000 lower than the property’s 2018 rateable value. So has ended a journey that started in 1981 when an older-style house on a 405 sqm site on the western side of Surfers Paradise Boulevard was bought for $310,000. It was converted to a restaurant, China House, and went on to become something of a favourite with many visitors tasting life in Surfers Paradise. China House ceased operating a few years back and the property was listed for auction in mid-2018 by Sing Yip Investments. A buyer, apparently linked to Brisbane businessman Solomon Noel, stepped forward before auction and snaffled the property with a meaty offer. It’s been suggested the site was intended for a modular building that would house backpackers. The Noel group of companies, of which Solomon is CEO, has a modular arm. The contract on China House was an unconditional one on extended settlement terms, with the deposit believed to have been five per cent of the $3.85 million price. Sing Yip, which had gone ahead and demolished China House to deliver a cleared site, apparently kept that deposit when the buyer failed to settle. Subsequently the agents selling the property, which sits between the Clock Hotel and the Centrepoint Arcade, canvassed other would-be buyers. They elicited interest from one party at $2.1 million but that interest waned and quick business was done with a company – owned by Victorians Nikola and Jenny Maric – which offered $1 million. The intent is to keep the site as a longer-term investment but the Marics could have some more expense should they decide to develop it. There is believed to be asbestos in the ground, which would make decontamination necessary. Meanwhile, Sing Yip’s 2018 sell-off included a property with a notorious history in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. It was one-time home to an infamous illegal casino and brothel and featured in the late 1980s Fitzgerald inquiry into corruption. Sing Yip bought the home of Bubbles Bathhouse for $340,000 34 years ago and tipped it out at $1.63 million 18 months ago.

The freehold to Taps Bar on the Sunshine Coast has been sold to a Melbourne-based buyer for $2,200,000. Located at 5-6/13 Mooloolaba Esplanade the asset, that came with a 246sq m building area, had a seven-year lease in place from 01 September 2019, with a seven-year option, and the sale reflected a 7.4 per cent yield. It was an all-Melbourne affair with the seller also based in Australia’s Garden City. The property was marketed and sold by Ray White Commercial Noosa and Sunshine Coast North Property Consultants Matt Marenko and John Petralia. Mr Marenko said the property was tenanted by Taps Bar, which was a local business with a creative concept of pouring your own beer from taps around the bar.

Iconic Melbourne venue The Gasometer Hotel is up for sale, with the venue’s managers looking to part ways and pursue their own ventures. According to a listing on a commercial real estate website last updated on April 15, the sellers are looking for offers “in the region of $350,000” which is a “heavy discount to what the venue is actually worth”. It is worth noting that the sale pertains to the leasehold, not the land on which the venue is situated. “The Gasometer Hotel, at the top end of Smith Street, has and will continue to play a pivotal role in supporting live music in Melbourne (and the occasional stand-up act) seven nights a week,” the listing reads.

Castlemaine’s historic hotel The Empyre is back on the market just two years after new hoteliers took over, and it’s had a glam up. The grand building, in the heart of the goldfields town at 68 Mostyn St, was built in 1860 as the Albion Hotel. It was purchased in 2018 by Steven De Marchi and his partner Justin Golightly who have revamped the property, paying homage to its heritage while injecting contemporary glamour. Mr De Marchi said he had $2.4-$2.5 million price hopes for the boutique hotel.

The Coober Pedy underground motel at Lot 1069 Crowders Gully Rd is on the market for the first time in 30 years. The motel features 16 rooms, an Aboriginal art gallery, historic opal room and shop as well as a cafe. It also has an underground function room, the only one of its kind in Coober Pedy, that can accommodate up to 80 people. Resort Brokers Australia’s Kelli Crouch is selling the property with a $2 million price tag.