Black Rhino swoops on Melbourne growth corridor pub

Angela and Patrick Gallagher have sold Chatswood’s Chelsea Hotel for $30.5 million.

The Tomsic-Mathieson run Black Rhino has swooped on a land rich, recently modernised historic pub in Melbourne’s Pakenham growth corridor, paying $24.5 million.

The Cardinia Park Hotel covers a 4.9 hectare site. Image: Google Street View.

The Cardinia Park Hotel at Beaconsfield was offered by the Deegan family which outlaid $1.54m in 2011.

At the time, the venue was classified by the Australian Hotel Association as non-metropolitan – in 2016, the industry body voted it regional Victoria’s best hotel.

Two years later the AHA tipped it into the metropolitan category, where it won again, for its dining room.

Beaconsfield is about 45 kilometres south east of Melbourne – between Berwick and Officer.

Black Rhino charging

Black Rhino’s portfolio now includes 37 assets, in Victoria and South Australia; it is also Melbourne’s biggest private gaming operator with the wider family controlling 45 per cent of the state’s electronic gambling machines.

In April, the group acquired the freehold going concern of the historic Kadinia Hotel, in the Yorke Peninsula, which contains 12 guest suites, a bar and bistro.

It also included 23 EGMs with the option to increase that to 40.

Black Rhino holds three more venues near here, in South Australia’s ‘Copper Triangle’, including the c1863 Moonta, which it purchased in March.

Nearly three years ago, it outlaid more than $12m for Ballarat’s c1853 Craig’s Royal Hotel which, like the Cardinia Park Hotel, was renovated.

Cardinia Park Hotel

JLL Hotel & Hospitality’s Will Connolly brokered the off market Cardinia Park Hotel sale.

On 4.9 hectares zoned Green Wedge at 200 Beaconsfield-Emerald Road, it includes a bar, bistro, function space and outdoor zones.

There are also 45 EGMs.

“The [Cardinia Park Hotel] sale is the perfect example of the aggression shown within our market for hotel assets of this ilk, with a balanced mix of departmental revenue, an incredibly well maintained and presented venue and a solid reputation within the area,” Mr Connolly said (story continues below).

The Gallaghers acquired the Longueville Hotel in August.

“What cannot be under-estimated though with this particular transaction is the land-banking aspect with close to five hectares…within one of metropolitan Melbourne’s most rapidly expanding locations,” he added.

Black Rhino director Dave Tomsic added the group looks forward to taking the venue into its next chapter.

Gallaghers sell Chelsea Hotel

Meanwhile in Sydney, Angela and Patrick Gallagher have sold the freehold going concern of Chatswood’s Chelsea Hotel, for $30.5m – a rise on the c$20m it paid Solotel in 2018.

JLL’s Ben McDonald and John Musca were the agents.

The disposal – to publican Rod Salmon and his son, Nate – comes three months since the Gallaghers acquired the Longueville Hotel from the Campion family, for c$50m.

JLL brokered that deal too.

“Chelsea Hotel presents as an ideal ‘bolt on’ acquisition given the low cost operating model and is sure to provide the incoming purchaser with an opportunity to capitalise on the enormous near term growth prospects of Chatswood’s town centre and railway precinct,” Mr McDonald said.

“We are firm believers in the trading opportunity that Chelsea offers with the diminishing availability of comparable hotel opportunities in the market a key driver of interest in the campaign,” he added.

Opposite Chatswood station, the venue includes 30 EGMs, a bar and bistro.

Its beer garden is permit-ready for an extension too.

Council also recently approved for it to trade longer hours – from 1am to 4am.

“There are only two other hotels in Chatswood, with the Orchard Hotel consistently ranking in the Top 20 in the state and the Monkey Bar also ranking within the Top 100,” Mr Musca said.

“Both of these hotels are also multi-level strata offerings like the Chelsea and demonstrate that the density of the commercial, residential and retail population in the immediate Chatswood precinct is the ultimate perennial business driver,” he added.

Subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of this page.

Share or Recommend article

Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of