The push to expand the western suburbs of Sydney has seen areas such as Liverpool come out of the shadows of its neighbours of Penrith and Parramatta, with a raft of new projects approved and under construction in the city centre.
While it has always a busy hub, the projected population growth, has attracted an array of new businesses to the area. Any construction of a second airport in the western suburbs, would also flow towards Liverpool.
The increased activity has prompted the sale of the Macquarie Hotel by JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group. It comes as pubs are emerging as key investment assets, not only for the revenue, but also for the development opportunities.
The new lock-out laws across the Sydney city and extending to Kings Cross, has triggered a flood of sales, such as the Bourbon Hotel in Potts Point for redevelopment, and other sites well away from the city.
Bar czar, Justin Hemmes is leading the charge with the recent purchase of the Newport Arms on the Northern beaches and the Palace at Coogee, while the Laundy family and Fraser Short has invested in the Watson’s Bay hotel.
Martin Short, who owns the Royal Hotel at Leichhardt, is soon to add a new balcony area to the pub, which he said, was well supported by the local area, but also seeing a rise in patrons as they avoid the city zones.
Selling agent for the Macquarie Hotel, John Musca, the JLL director for hotels and hospitality, said with the Liverpool population forecast to double to 320,000 in the next 20 years, and city planning codes allowing 100-metre height limits for commercial and residential tower developments, it augurs well for city centre hotels like the Macquarie.
Mr Musca said the Sydney Metropolitan Strategy released in 2013 identified Liverpool as the states ‘third city’ after Sydney and Parramatta with subsequent papers suggesting the area will require an additional 500,000 square metres-plus of commercial and retail space to service the local government area growth.
The privately owned Macquarie Hotel has been in the same hands for nearly 30 years and includes 30 gaming machines, a 24-hour liquor licence and dual street frontage 1062 square metre site with future development potential (STCA).
“This hotel is on its way to being a Top 50 ranked gaming hotel in the state and is perfectly positioned adjacent to a 440 car-bay council car park and metres from rapidly developing Macquarie Mall with new Aldi supermarket, close to the train station and sprawling Westfield Liverpool”, Mr Musca said.
The state’s best gaming hotels have seen a flurry of transaction activity over the past six months with the sale of a number of top-ranked hotels including the Crown Hotel at Revesby for $33m, Grand Hotel Rockdale for $24.5 million and the Vegas Hotel Seven Hills for $25.15 million, all transacted by JLL.
In a further insight into hotel sales activity CBRE agent Dan Dragicevich recently sold the Grand Hotel, Bondi Junction for a rumoured $25 million and only last week Merivale continued their expansion strategy with the acquisition of the Newport Arms Hotel for $46 million.
Mr Musca said there has been a genuine uplift in divestment liquidity at the top end of the Sydney market with this confidence ultimately permeating all investment levels, as evidenced by JLL transacting 30 hotels in 2014 and this year starting the same way.
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