Following “stringent investment criteria” a syndicate has purchased the newly-tenanted and renamed The Local Hotel freehold for $2.5 million.
As pubs around the country continue to benefit from upmarket investors, Scope Property Group has seen its way into a South Fremantle pub asset newly re-positioned by local proprietors Phil Thompson and Ross Macpherson.
The pub was built in 1897 and has always been known as the Seaview Tavern, but Thompson says after “falling through a few hands” it was in serious need of a new image.
“It’s a beautiful old building, but didn’t feel like one,” Thompson told PubTIC.
“The renovation was more about taking things away, introducing light and air into the place, which is a simple way to add more appeal.
“We also added a substantial amount of green, which has been received really well. Rather than aiming for one style, the work was about exposing the best parts of a really nice old building.”
After 13 years at Freemantle’s Norfolk Hotel, working his way to manager, Thompson decided the leasehold business of the Seaview presented a great opportunity to own his own pub.
Purchasing the business last August, he and business partner Macpherson chipped away at years of wear to expose a new look and offering, including renaming the pub – with minimal local backlash – to The Local.
“It no longer has a view of the sea, and the name, like the business, was a bit run down and a ‘no-go’ place.
“Changing an historic name was a difficult decision, so we anticipated some resistance. The odd person has had a go, but overall things have been really good – beyond expectation. We’re trading well, and have had a really positive response from the community.
“Renaming it The Local, we wanted to deliver on that promise and be accepted locally. Fortunately, we’ve been able to achieve that.”
Scope Property Group is based in WA and holds a portfolio of commercial property, but this is its first hospitality asset. It purchased the property from family company Arkbay Holdings.