HOTEL, TOURISM & LEISURE

Strand Hotel the latest to change hands in darling pub sector

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THE freehold going concern interest in Darlinghurst’s The Strand Hotel is the latest transaction to drop in the fizzing sector, with vendor Oscars Group wanting to focus on its larger venues.

The Strand has just been reconfigured through a $3 million renovation, and now offers 25 3.5-star fully ensuited accommodation rooms, 21 GMEs, a sought-after 4am trading approval and a U-shaped bar layout servicing the entire venue.

It is believed to have changed hands for $17 million.

It will be operated by new inner-city boutique hotel group The People, with founders Paul Schulte and Andrew Taylor adding the venue to its growing portfolio of six city fringe hotels across the eastern seaboard that includes the Camelia Grove Hotel Alexandria, Norfolk Hotel Redfern and the Exchange and Town Hall Hotels in Balmain.

“Millennials are looking for a local option which is affordable and approachable, but aspirational in terms of the lifestyle perks and options”, Taylor said.

“They are seeking cool neighbourhoods”.

Oscars Group sold the asset via JLL Hotels & Hospitality with a renewed focus on its larger complexes newly relaunched Beachcomber Hotel in Toukley, the Towadgi Beach Hotel and Novotel North Beach Hotel in Wollongong.

“The transaction was a result of understanding the very different profiles and investment drivers of two important clients and creating a confluence of their needs, with both parties achieving a desired outcome,” John Musca of JLL Hotels & Hospitality said.

Investors have been rushing to the pubs sector since the eve of summer, and Sydney venues have been particularly prominent in the run.

Musca said this is the first of five separate metropolitan Sydney hotel sales in the past five weeks that the agency is about to announce, “demonstrating the relentless aggregation appetite within the sector and liquidity reflecting the very strong current market fundamentals”.

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