In Property by Clyde Mooney

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Another Sydney hotelier has bought big in Brisbane, with Joe Irvin picking up the “trophy asset” Homestead Tavern for $15.6 million.

The ongoing shortage of opportunities in Sydney and Melbourne is driving more publicans up the coast, finding value in the similarly booming yet comparatively well-priced south-east Queensland market.

Paul Irvin Hotels, led by successor Joe Irvin, has bought the Homestead from former Sydney publican turned Gold Coast-based developer, David Spankie, who makes an exit from the industry with the sale.

Speaking with PubTIC, Irvin says he’s already got Queensland pubs, but he’s excited about this one.

“It’s our first into Brisbane,” he explains. “It’s a good pub, with strong gaming and a good, steady trade.

“The Homestead’s a bit different to our other Queensland pubs, which are in a lot of resources-based areas that go up and down with the economy.

“It’s on a good, flat block of land, it’s been well maintained and doesn’t need a lot of work.”

The good block is in fact a generous 7,550 m² in beachside Boondall, about 15 kilometres from the Brisbane CBD.

The Homestead was marketed by CBRE Hotels’ Paul Fraser and Daniel Dragicevich, who have brokered several pubs to Irvin and report receiving 39 enquiries and 11 offers – more than half from Sydney buyers – necessitating a second round of negotiations.

“It was a strategically smart buy, near the city, with strong intrinsic value – steady trade with upside,” Fraser told PubTIC. “Put it this way – the valuation is never going backwards.

“The size and nature of the block means there’s a med- to long-term play to develop it, either the pub itself or accommodation behind it.”

The hotel is based around a large central bar, but also includes a restaurant, upstairs function space for 120 people, TAB and gaming room with 43 EGMs, over 100 car spaces and dual-lane drive-through bottleshop.