Sydney-based development group W Property has picked up the Old Fitzroy Hotel in Woolloomooloo for $5 million.
Affectionately known as ‘the Old Fitz’, the hotel also houses a live theatre venue that has enjoyed a cult following since its inception in 1997.
The pub has been owned and operated by Gary Pasfield for more than 20 years, before deciding to move ahead with a leasehold sale.
New owners W Property, a commercial development and investment group led by Michael and Prue Williams, are known for specialising in the adaptive reuse of old and heritage buildings across Sydney.
The private group has worked on projects including 350 George Street in the CBD and 19 Foster Street in Surry Hills.
Looking forward, W Property said they intend on leasing the pub to a food and beverage operator; and formalising a long term lease with Red Line Productions.
“This acquisition is a real marriage of our two strongest passions – old buildings and the arts,” Williams said.
“We’re really excited about working with a new operator for the pub, and also with Andrew Henry in order to inject some new life into the pub and theatre at the same time as preserving its obvious character and local appeal.”
HTL Property director Sam Handy said that while the property had been targeted by a range of hoteliers, investors and developers looking to remix the offering, the hotel would likely now remain a pub and theatre.
“Quite clearly the hotel has some excellent underlying redevelopment fundamentals, and was of interest to several alternative use suitors.
“However, in my view some hotels are simply just too important to the local fabric of the community to make wholesale changes to, and I think this is true in the case of the Old Fitzroy Hotel.
Handy said the sale affirmed the underlying property fundamentals of Sydney’s eastern suburbs with the current weight of capital, and divergent private and public sources, continuing to drive transaction demand.
“We are absolutely elated we could achieve a strong price for our clients in order to see the history and tradition of this hugely popular Sydney institution preserved,” Handy said.
HTL also recently sold the leasehold interests of the Duke of Enmore Hotel and Sly Fox Hotel.
The agents also negotiated the sale of Alexandria’s Camelia Grove Hotel which was picked up by local developer Jaga Group who own several similar hybrid pub and accommodation developments across Sydney.
“We anticipate the Sydney Metropolitan mid-market to be a very active sub-segment this year, and have commensurately increased our focus and resources in order to deliver these kinds of outcomes to our valued clients,” Handy said.
According to figures compiled by HTL show $825 million of hotels—both pubs and accommodation—changed hands in 2020, down from $2 billion in 2019, with 43 per cent of all sales to first-time investors.