Justin Hemmes buying into another Lorne hotel: sources

Merivale recently paid $38m for the Lorne Hotel freehold going concern.

Speculation is rife that Justin Hemmes’ Merivale is picking up the leasehold of Lorne’s Grand Pacific Hotel and Apartments.

The property would predominantly be used to accommodate hospitality staff at the nearby Lorne Hotel – the freehold going concern of which the publican acquired for $38m in May.

Justin Hemmes last week won a Venue NSW contract to cater the SCG.

Surf Coast sources added the Grand Pacific could also be used for administration, functions and food preparation.

Merivale has been contacted.

Grand Pacific Hotel & Apartments

Built in 1880, the Grand Pacific rises three storeys at 268-270 Mountjoy Parade – part of the Great Ocean Road.

In April, Ghanda Clothing founder Josh Rudd – the nephew of former prime minister, Kevin – acquired the freehold for $5.5m (story continues below).

A month later, the leaseholder ceased serving drinks – then, in July, went into liquidation with debts reported to be about $400,000.

Staff are said to be owed about $80,000.

The hotel was decades ago owned by late dress designer, ‘playboy’ Jonathon Crawford.

Merivale purchased the c1876 Lorne Hotel at 176 Mountjoy Pde from the Upham family.

It was the group’s second Victorian purchase after snapping up Melbourne’s Tomasetti House for $43m in April.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.