NEWS PROPERTY

A historic Esplanade property has sold for more than $1.5 million, heralding the end of an era for a Cairns tourism visionary. In a sign of further market confidence in the city’s accommodation sector, more than 50 inquiries were received for Floriana Guesthouse before it was snapped up by Southeast Queensland investors. Selling agent Jay Beattie of Colliers International Cairns said the new owners planned to “give the property a facelift and reposition the business”.

The 94-room Capitol Square Hotel near Sydney’s Chinatown has been tipped onto the market with expectations around $35 million. The hotel, which was recently renovated after suffering damage in a fire in January, is owned by New Landmark Hotels and operated by ASX-listed Event Hospitality & Entertainment under its Rydges brand. It forms part of the Capitol Square complex on George Street, which incorporates the Capitol Square Theatre. CBRE Hotels selling agents Rob Cross and Andrew Jackson said it was likely to be the only Sydney CBD hotel offered for sale this year.

Iris Capital and Gallagher Hotel Management have bought two key Sydney hotels with a combined value of $65 million, to expand their footprint in the hot pub sector. Investors are selling out to food and beverage operators who are shifting pubs away from relying on gaming and poor food, to be a destination with a signature chef. The national director at JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group, John Musca, who negotiated the sale, said the asset transactions are “manifest examples of astute divergence in investment and operating strategies of two highly respected industry stakeholders at a particular point in time, reflecting class-leading thinking on both their parts”. The Tiger Bar Hotel is adjacent to the Hurstville bus and train stations in a precinct benefiting from a new LEP and residential intensification. The hotel was purchased by Iris Capital, where a change in group focus has seen its property and business empire rapidly expand to include extensive development, broad-acre land and viticulture interests across NSW. This includes the recent acquisition of the east end Newcastle city site planned to include about 700 residential apartments, a potential five-star hotel and more than 10,000 square metres of retail space. The regeneration is expected to be a catalyst for the evolution of the Newcastle CBD and has involved extensive community and council consultation.

The Long WALE Investment Partnership – in which the Charter Hall Long WALE REIT has a 45 per cent stake with Hostplus and Charter Hall Group – has acquired three hotels in a sale and leaseback transaction with ALH Group. The partnership is buying the three properties for $23.2 million on a portfolio yield of 6.26 per cent. Two of the hotels are in Queensland: the Brunswick Hotel at New Farm and the Old Sydney Hotel at Maryborough. The third is the Ship Inn Hotel at Busselton, Western Australia.

Parklands Motor Lodge is to be sold with vacant possession Parklands Motor Lodge is a 31 unit, 4.0 star Assure motel occupying a prominent 2.78ha road-front site on State Highway 1, at the halfway point between Auckland and Wellington.

The new owners of a Tablelands retreat have “big plans” for the well-known luxury accommodation venture. Mt Quincan Crater Retreat at Peeramon, about 47km southwest of Cairns, sold in recent weeks for $2.2 million. It comes about 28 years after locals Barbara and Kerry Kehoe bought the 58ha grazing property upon which they built their business. Mt Quincan Crater Retreat opened its doors in 1998, and now features six exclusive “tree houses” set against rainforest. Mr and Mrs Kehoe decided to retire and sold their beloved venture, initially listed for $2.5 million, on May 31. “The sellers were happy, it had been on the market for a while … things in that price range tend to go a bit slower,” said selling agent Nichole Duane of Yungaburra Tinaroo Realty. “They were retiring and are happy they can now make that transition. “Our commercial properties have been getting a lot more interest than what they were, which is a sign the market is moving forward.” Ms Duane said the property, popular among locals and tourists for romantic getaways, was unique in a number of ways. The new owners are from the region and requested anonymity. “We’re excited about the prospect of growing an iconic Far North Queensland business,” a spokeswoman said. “We have big plans for the place and are looking forward to continuing the legacy built by the sellers.”

Developers are expected to run the rule over Surfers Paradise timeshare resort Tiki Village in advance of a tender campaign due to start later this month. The 4598sq m site at 58 Cavill Ave, including the 70-room resort and five retail tenancies, is being sold by Classic Holdings-linked Tiki Village International. The property fronts the Nerang River and is zoned for unlimited height with the potential to build 720 apartments subject to council approval. CBRE’s Mason Kidman, who is marketing the property with colleague Lachlan Harris, said he expects significant interest from national and international developers. “This is the best non-beachfront development site on the Gold Coast,” he said.

The wealthy Catalfamo family has sold a Brighton hotel, Melbourne’s bayside, to a Chinese investor for $15.8 million on a tight yield of 3.3 per cent. It is the latest in a run of deals that have seen investors pay sharp yields for retail property, often with a large land component.