Former top gamer the Vegas Hotel has sold in in-transition Kings Cross for circa $25 million, as the precinct continues to evolve from high-life to high-end living.
The Vegas is one of the stalwarts of the previously notorious party precinct, boasting a 24-hour licence and once thriving gaming operation of 30 machines and only three-hour shutdown that was long ago #1 in Liquor & Gaming’s list of NSW venues.
The pub business, at 54 Darlinghurst Rd, utilises a rented space in the adjacent building for the gaming lounge. There is disused or underutilised space on the upper levels of both buildings.
The Vegas already holds vertical redevelopment potential, zoned B3 mixed-use with 15-metre height limit, but there have been comparable local approvals for structures up to 60 metres high.
The pub freehold was the property of Geoff Redmond, who continues to own and operate the Vegas Hotel at Mount Druitt, while the site next door was held by a private Asian investor.
Kings Cross has been forcibly transformed by the State government’s lockout laws, crippling late-night venues and gaming operations there and throughout the CBD. Greenland transferred EGMs out of the Crest Hotel, Toga out of Mansions, and the Vegas has slipped around 70 places in the past two years to be currently ranked #178.
Recent news the government is on the verge of lifting the lockout laws – but keeping them in place in Kings Cross – is likely to further dictate the area’s drift toward gentrification over late-night good times.
A prominent private Sydney pub group with a family background in development has now bought the Vegas Hotel freehold, as well as the adjacent building for around another $7 million.
The two sites provide considerable scope in the future for the kind of city-fringe top-dollar residential that has increasingly found its way into the former red-light district, as the value of real estate within walking distance of the CBD overcomes its fading history as a 24-hour entertainment zone.
The buyers offered no immediate plans, and requested they not be named at this time for personal reasons.