Moelis pays $100m for Byron Bay’s Beach Hotel

The Byron Bay venue occupies a 4585 square metre site.

Moelis Australia is paying Melbourne’s Impact Investment Group just over $100 million for Byron Bay’s Beach Hotel.

The deal includes the freehold and leasehold – the latter which IIG has since 2017 controlled with John, Lisa and Elke Van Haandel since 2017.

IIG paid racing car driver Max Twigg $68.2m for the Byron Bay freehold two years ago on a long settlement.

It immediately removed 15 electronic gaming machines.

Byron Bay’s Beach Hotel

On a 4586 square metre waterfront block, the venue was developed in the early 1990s by entertainer and Crocodile Dundee producer John “Strop” Cornell for about $10m.

With his wife, Delvene Delaney, Mr Cornell was a regular on The Paul Hogan Show.

The couple, who live in the area, played an important role raising the profile of the then-sleepy hamlet.

Last month sold they sold the final piece of a large parcel on Belongil Beach which they picked up from property developer Peter Kurts for $375,000 in 1987.

Four years ago, Mr Cornell and Ms Delaney sold the majority of it to Gerry Harvey for about $10m.

They held onto Beach Hotel until 2007 – when it traded for $44m to Mr Twigg, who had just sold his waste management business.

The pub is configured with three bars, a bistro with alfresco and fine dining spaces, a beer garden, bottle shop, swimming pool, conference facility and 25 recently renovated guest suites.

The block also offers airspace development potential.

Freehold and leasehold was offered

IIG listed the freehold and leasehold of Byron Bay’s Beach Hotel two months ago.

It is the first time the property and business were offered together since 2007 and as such, attracted owner occupiers (like Moelis) as well as investors, according to JLL’s John Musca, Tom Gleeson and Tom Gibson.

The brokers added that they fielded more than 100 enquiries – from both national and international suitors.

Four parties were shortlisted.

The Beach Hotel under Moelis

Moelis Australia Hotel Management will manage a single-asset investment fund to hold the property.

Chief executive officer Dan Brady described the pub as “an iconic Australian establishment located on irreplaceable real estate”.

“The acquisition of both freehold and operating interests will enable the required capital investment to further enhance what has made the hotel iconic – that is, a great community gathering place with a fun, sociable, friendly and safe hospitality offering delivered by an engaged and passionate team of local…professionals” he added.

Moelis intends to keep the majority of the hotel’s management and venue operators on staff.

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Marc Pallisco

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

Marc Pallisco