Don Hodge Group has bought the Lake Macquarie Tavern near Newcastle, New South Wales from prominent industry identities Paul Crosbie and Bob Warren for $33 million, reflecting a 5.4% capitalisation rate. 

The highly coveted hotel and pub comprised 30 gaming machine entitlements and late trading approval on a 9,000 sqm site about 14km from the Newcastle CBD.  

The deal reflected one of the biggest prices paid outside of Sydney so far this year, according to JLL.  

JLL Hotels Senior Vice President Ben McDonald and Moore & Moore Real Estate Principal Deane Moore brokered the sale on behalf of the vendors, who had owned the hotel for more than two decades. 

JLL said the campaign generated 65 enquires and close to a dozen bids, including many from some of Australia’s most successful operators, family groups and corporate hotel investors.  

“Despite a potential shift in the economic environment, hoteliers with long term investment horizons are continuing to compete aggressively for assets that exude quality and are underpinned by strong trade fundamentals in locations they know and understand,” McDonald said.   

“Being appointed by Mr Warren and Mr Crosbie who are considered hotel industry forefathers is humbling to say the least,” Moore said.  

“The Lake Macquarie Tavern was a highly contested asset, and my vendors are extremely happy to see youth follow in their footsteps.” 

Recent hotel and pub deals include Public Hospitality Group’s purchase of the Lady Hampshire hotel and pub in Camperdown, Sydney for about $11 million.  

Last month, EG and Australian Venue Co. bought The Anglers Tavern pub in Melbourne for $23.33 million, while MA Financial Group acquired the Hotel Brunswick in Brunswick Heads near Byron Bay on the NSW North Coast for $68 million last December. 

Hotel Property Investments bought a portfolio of seven pubs located throughout South Australia for $66.1 million last December, while hotel operator Fraser Short bought the Sir George Hotel in the New South Wales town of Jugiong for a reported $14 million in November last year.