Cooee Hotel calls in $7.75m

The hotel recently underwent a $1m refurbishment.

St Georges Basin’s Cooee Hotel – the only pub servicing a catchment of 12,500 people – has sold for c$7.75 million.

The deal is a major windfall for Brisbane publican Michael Lucas and business partner David Kennewell, who paid $3.1m in early 2019 – a price reflecting a 10.64 per cent yield.

At the time, a lease had just seven months left to run.

The owners then took over the operation, also embarking on a repositioning and renovation said to have cost c$1m.

Deal sealed in 24 hours

Mr Lucas and Mr Kennewell appointed HTL’s Blake Handy – who sold the hotel to them – to market the freehold going concern with colleague Sam Handy; the guide was $7m-plus.

The agents said following the four week campaign launched last month, five offers came in and documents were exchanged in 24 hours.

The buyer, a consortium led by Wollongong developer Daniel Kostovski, will now run it.

St Georges Basin is about 15 kilometres from Jervis Bay (story continues below).

Cooee Hotel

On 3554 square metres at 124 Island Point Road – at the centre of the town’s commercial area – Cooee Hotel abuts a proposed Anson Street apartment complex, with 240 dwellings, near the master-planned Village Grove housing estate.

The venue accommodates one of New South Wales’ most profitable KENO operations, the agents said.

There are also 14 electronic gambling machines.

“The sale of the…freehold, particularly at this time, illustrates the confidence in the sector and the foresight of stakeholders to take advantage of opportunities in this fertile transaction landscape,” according to Mr Handy.

The deal comes five months since a Ged Dore led consortium outlaid $6m for the Great Southern Hotel at Berry, about 40kms north of St Georges Basin.

Other recent Illawarra and South Coast pub sales include the North Nowra Tavern, for $12m and Shell Cove Tavern ($6.5m). In 2018, Redcape Hotel Group acquired three venues from Denfish Hotels – Central Hotel ($20m), Figtree Hotel ($15m) and Unanderra Hotel ($13.5m).

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Marc Pallisco

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