Pub baron and rich lister Arthur Laundy has purchased The Bells Hotel on the Woolloomooloo waterfront in Sydney for about $15 million.
The iconic hotel, located on the corner of Bourke and Cowper streets opposite Woolloomooloo Wharf, has been standing since the 1860s.
The 340sq m property was sold by the Miles family, who have owned the popular Sydney pub for 45 years, prior to the hotel’s planned auction.
Family spokeswoman Erin Peterson said the family had been presented with a compelling offer from the well-known publican.
“We are happy to sell to Arthur, a long time local publican, who we are sure will only be an asset to further develop the potential of our much-loved pub,” Peterson said.
Laundy currently holds up to 65 hotels, including the nearby Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel, purchased for $20 million in 2015, Woolwich Pier, Greenwich and Quarrymans Hotel in Pyrmont.
Exclusive agents Andrew Jolliffe and Dan Dragicevich of HTL Property brokered The Bells Hotel, noting the sale process had been both active and significant with regard to the quality of interested parties.
Dragicevich said the positive sale of this hospitality industry icon was a material vote of confidence in the strength of the market for AAA-grade properties.
“Interest in the prominently positioned asset was drawn from a wide spectrum of well-known hospitality operatives and commercial property specialists, with many reporting to have coveted the opportunity in an unofficial capacity for numerous years.”
The sale of The Bells Hotel continues a strong run for the Sydney hotel sector, and comes on the eve of hotel giant Redcape Hotel Group’s billion-dollar stock market listing, due at the end of the month.
Laundy, who's net worth of about $500 million, is currently renovating the Woolwich Pier Hotel at a cost of about $10 million and is building a pub at Homebush on the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Murray Rose Avenue.