Rod Salmon is looking to divest his newly re-branded and refreshed Chatswood Hotel, on Sydney’s gold-plated north shore.

The two-level pub, formerly known as the Chelsea, occupies a 765sqm strata site opposite the entrance to Chatswood station, which sees around 43k passengers daily, and is surrounded by residential and commercial buildings.

Configured in an efficient trading footprint, it comprises public bar, bistro, bistro bar, and gaming room with 30 machines.

Veteran Rod Salmon and his son Nate shelled out $30.5 million for the freehold going concern in 2022, taking the deeds from Gallagher Hotels, which had bought it for circa $20 million from Solotel in 2018.

The new owners touted plans at the time including a renovation, and making better use of the upstairs space.

Improvements have now been made, bringing a reactivation of dormant and underutilised trading areas, and a reconfiguration of the gaming room, with report of a 55 per cent uplift in gaming revenue YOY. There are only three pubs in the precinct with gaming, the other two ranked #14 and #111 in December, while the Chatswood is ranked #320.

The Hotel holds 1am trading approval, and Council approval to trade until 4am.

Marketing cites average weekly revenue is growing, currently north of $95k with potential to increase.

Located beside the Mantra Chatswood, there is also potential to further improve food and beverage revenue through a service agreement with the hotel.

Rod Salmon has owned a dozen pubs over the decades, previously including the Crown Hotel in Parramatta, sold to Iris in 2014, and the highly ranked Rydalmere Tavern, sold to Zenith in 2022, which he created and launched in a warehouse.  

After executing plans to create something to suit the Chatswood demographic, Salmon and son are moving on again.

“Chatswood Hotel is well-positioned to capitalise on the enormous growth in surrounding residential density and commuter growth of Chatswood Train Station,” offers JLL Hotels’ Kate MacDonald, marketing the property with colleague Ben McDonald.

Australia’s pub real estate market reached an all-time high in 2022, and the total transaction volume came close to $2.3 billion, bolstered by strong trading fundamentals and heightened debt liquidity, and an influx of capital entering the sector. The result was yield compression that pushed values to new highs.

Last year brought a rebound and softening of conditions, but a flurry of recent sales and listings may mean the tide is turning again.

“We are on the precipice of a real momentum shift in the pub space as deal flow is on the improve,” states McDonald.

“We are increasingly optimistic on conditions as the year goes on, with stakeholders seemingly more comfortable with the trading landscape, the ‘higher for longer’ interest rate environment and the debt landscape more broadly.”

Sale of the Chatswood Hotel freehold going concern is by Expressions of Interest, closing Wednesday, 5 June.

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