LAZARUS HEADS NORTH AND LISTS THE EASTERN

In On the Market by Clyde Mooney

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Hopping into Sydney’s hot market, Andrew Lazarus’ Eastern Hotel Group has listed Bondi’s large-format Eastern Hotel as it rounds out a complete portfolio shift.

The Eastern Hotel is adjoined to Westfield Bondi Junction, occupying 1,720 m² over four levels, with a 4am licence.

Speaking with PubTIC, Lazarus says he has begun focusing on his ‘sea change’ coastal acquisitions at Shoal Bay and Hamilton, and intends to redeploy “a lot” of capital to them.

“We’ve been going through a change in the portfolio. This will be the last to go – the fifth in two years.

“I’ve been spending more time up the coast, and intend to put a lot of work into the Country Club Hotel. I think it could become a real destination in the area.

“An experienced operator coming in with fresh eyes will do well at The Eastern.”

Lazarus reports three of the four levels are currently trading very well, but the fourth is currently closed pending another inevitable reinvention – a staple of keeping the hotel on point.

The street level Goodtime Burgers is a veteran of Sydney’s pub burger trend, and the rooftop level is the popular 1400-pax Mexican bar-restaurant El Topo.

The venue currently turns over more than $11 million annually, and the dedicated gaming and wagering area sees it ranked #210 in the L&G list of NSW venues.

Marketing for the leasehold interest of The Eastern, through CBRE Hotels’ Daniel Dragicevich and Sam Handy, specifies that the liquor licence and 18 PMEs – market value circa $3.6 million – are both property of the lessee.

Bondi Junction is already the fifth-largest business district in Sydney, and the recent prolific DA approvals based in increased height limits and flexible zoning will undoubtedly benefit The Eastern, attached to Westfield and its 478 retailers already with 20 million annual shoppers, and close to the station and highly populated towers.

Dragicevich says the pub is essentially four venues in one, and will appeal to several market segments, given the well-balanced food, beverage and gaming revenue streams.

“The Eastern is truly a unique asset both in terms of its rare shopping centre location and enviable trading scale and balance.

“The Sydney pub leasehold market has seen a flurry of activity lately with the sales of the Keystone Portfolio and the Verandah Bar, highlighting the true attractiveness of an often overlooked section of the market.”

The Eastern Hotel is being sold via an Expressions of Interest campaign, closing Wednesday, 29 March.

El Topo – atop the Eastern Hotel