In On the Market by Clyde Mooney

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As pundits speculate on the disposition of Coles’ Liquorland-Spirit cache of Queensland pubs, the freehold interest of the Group’s Club Hotel has hit the market boasting a new 15-year lease.

The Club Hotel Waterford is set on a prominent 11,000sqm corner site, around 27 kilometres south of the Brisbane CBD.

It counts a sports bar, gaming room with 45 EGMs, bringing a Top-50 ranking in Queensland, a First Choice liquor store and the full complement of three detached bottle-shops are included on the commercial liquor licence. The pub will soon see a $1.25m refurbishment courtesy of the new lease.

The freehold is being marketed by CBRE Hotels’ Paul Fraser and Wayne Bunz, offering a double net lease to Liquorland, under Coles’ umbrella.

“The tavern offers a new 15-year lease term, with a further three 10-year options available – providing a secure, long-term annuity opportunity,” explains Fraser.

Speculation around Coles’ exit from the industry is premature, but talk has been of a three-horse race to a JV being run between Delaware North, Redcape and Australian Venue Company.

But the leases stipulate an assignment clause that keeps Coles on the hook if a third party installed in the venues falls over, so any joint venture would only be likely with an operator capable of taking on the massive portfolio expansion and buying into a JV, for most or all of Spirit Hotels’ 88 pubs.

In light of Coles’ recent reticence toward its pub operations, this would likely be a good thing for the landlord, as the willing operator seeks to optimise the venue’s presentation and revenues.

The Club Hotel Waterford is being sold via Expressions of Interest, closing Thursday 28 June.