Historic Newcastle Hotel Hits the Market


Newcastle’s historic Grand Hotel is for sale after a 30-year tenure as the pub market stays hot on the east coast.

Long-term owner Mike Angus appointed JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group and Moore & Moore Real Estate to run an expression of interest campaign after “numerous unsolicited offers” on the Victorian-era corner pub.

The hotel, built in 1891, is in Newcastle East and includes a 3am trading approval, six gaming machines, potential function space and 17 recently refurbished rooms.

Newcastle is experiencing a surge in its population due to Covid-19 and an increase in domestic tourism due to travel restrictions.

There are several long-term investment projects in the region including a large-scale university development across the street from the Grand.

The Grand Hotel pub beer interior Newcastle
▲ The Victorian-era corner pub is two blocks from the beach.

The freehold going-concern interest in the Grand Hotel is being offered for sale via expressions of interest, which close at 4pm, July 15.

JLL Hotels managing director John Musca told The Urban Developer Australia’s pub market was at its strongest since 2005-2006 with more than $1 billion spent on pubs nationally in the past year.

Last week, new Sydney-based pub fund Ludlow Hospitality confirmed its first acquisition with the purchase of Five Islands Hotel in Cringila for $20.7 million.

Five Islands Hotel Cringila
▲ The recently renovated Five Islands Hotel.

The off-market sale was the second recent divestment on a non-core asset by Oscars Hotel following the Strand Hotel, Darlinghurst, and was managed by JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group.

Ludlow Hospitality was established in October 2020 backed by high-net-worth, New York-based family offices. Its senior executive includes some of New South Wales’ more experienced hoteliers such as former Riversdale founder Paddy Coughlan.

“We are delighted to launch the new Ludlow Hospitality Fund with such a quality cornerstone asset and for the opportunity to become part of the Cringila community,” Coughlan said.

The recently renovated hotel sits on a 2314sq m site with new public and lounge bars, bistro, a 22-machine gaming room and 12 accommodation rooms, with on-site parking.

Further testimony to the current pub market strength is the more than $200 million of hotels currently in various stages of contract or negotiation nationally with JLL, its strongest first half activity in 15 years.

“Market enthusiasm remains across all hotel business profiles, evidenced by the disproportionately large number of transactions being affected in an off-market manner,” JLL’s MacDonald said.

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