In Property by Clyde Mooney

Click here to share this article with a friend

The newly-formed Balmoral Hospitality Group has announced another big greenfield build, winning the race to be the Waterfront Tavern at the massive Shell Cove development.

Shell Cove is a $2.3bn mega-project by Frasers Property Australia and Shellharbour City Council, based around a new community and town centre in the south coast resort town, around two hours south of Sydney.

In August 2018 a proposal was put to market through HTL Property for operators with a successful history in greenfield developments to bid for the site of Shell Cove’s only tavern, slated to be built on around 1,400sqm and incorporating a family bistro and private dining areas, open plan kitchen, gaming room and sports bar with TAB, and versatile indoor and outdoor spaces.

The harbourfront will include a new public walkway and massive new marina, and the balcony of the Tavern will be cantilevered over the walkway, optimising water views.

Potential purchasers submitted their ideas and qualifications for the project, to be built in conjunction with infrastructure works by Frasers.

DenFish was the former entity headed by Joel Fisher and Andrew Denmeade, which amongst trading other hotels built the award-winning Central Hotel in Shellharbour, before selling a portfolio counting the Central, Figtree and Unanderra Hotels to Redcape in late 2018 for a reported $50 million.

Fisher and Denmeade engaged in an extensive tender process at Shell Cove, finding recent approval coinciding with recent approval at a similar exercise in Queensland, which brought its announcement last week on the future Flagstone Hotel greenfield development. 

“We’re excited about the opportunity this world-class precinct provides, and with decades of local hospitality experience our group is ecstatic about winning the tender to deliver what we believe will be the jewel in the crown for the region,” says Denmeade. “It’s another piece of the truly mixed-use precinct at The Waterfront, Shell Cove that will serve locals for generations to come.”

Construction has begun on the site, kicking off six to eight months of engineering, sinking pillars into bedrock and preparing for the public areas and hotel’s requirements. The infrastructure is in keeping with the scale of the Shell Cove project.  

Shell Cove development. Image: Shell Cove – Frasers Property

“That whole development is going to be phenomenal,” says Fisher.

“There’s a lot of structural work and shoring up of the marina dam wall that needs to be done before work on the Tavern really begins.

“Once the ground work is complete the hotel build is expected to take another 12 months, opening early 2021.”

The finished Tavern is slated to cost in the region of $18-20 million by the time doors are open, including purchase of the site.

Its proposal reportedly drew no shortage of interested parties and offers, vying for its rare potential.

“True deep-waterfront hospitality offerings are as unique as they are irreplaceable, and when considering the magnetism of the Newport Arms and Watson’s Bay hotels of this world, one can be forgiven for being more than a little excited about the prospects of a similar offering in this burgeoning part of NSW,” suggests HTL MD Andrew Jolliffe, who marketed the opportunity with colleague Dan Dragicevich.

Waterfront Tavern – artist’s impression