In Property by Clyde Mooney

Click here to share this article with a friend

The freehold Harbour View Hotel has sold to a private buyer thought to be looking at its real estate prospects in Sydney’s historic The Rocks.

A high net worth individual believed to be from the provedore sector has paid close to $12 million for one of the few freehold hotels in the harbourside suburb.

The three-storey building, built in its current form in 1924, counts multiple function rooms on the upper levels, plus a manager’s residence and two outdoor terraces – all enjoying magnificent water views onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  

For two decades it has been owned by the Perry family, engaging a licensee.

In late 2018 the family were reportedly in discussion with a Sydney hotelier for the freehold going concern for a price said to be north of $14 million, but the deal did not eventuate. 

Two months later, players from the Canterbury Bulldogs disgraced themselves and the venue with sex-tainted antics, in what was to become known as “Mad Monday”. Licensee John Watt pleaded a case, offering that there were mitigating circumstances.

But in February, ILGA handed down a Strike for its role in the “multiple cases of intoxication and acts of indecency” that took place, bringing with it a raft of new conditions, including increased CCTV requirements, closing times and cessation of service, and RSA training for management and staff.

In mid-June the owners determined to offer the HVH to the open market, noting the broader appeal of the asset in an area where most freeholds are owned by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, and residential property rates are averaging north of $20k per square metre.

Augmenting the opportunity, the hotel licence and 15 gaming entitlements were estimated at around $3 million value, putting the property in a unique position in the market.

The HVH sale in a private property play highlights the competition between hospitality and land bankers where the asset is blessed with such strong underlying property value. It is reminiscent of the sale of nearby Millers Point jewel the Palisade Hotel, which after eight years closed and two renovations sold late 2017 to Chinese-backed First Master Capital for circa $31.5m.