Windsor Castle Hotel sells for record price

The Windsor Castle Hotel is about 30 kilometres from Newcastle.

Harvest Hotels has paid $51 million – a record for an inland regional pub – for East Maitland’s Windsor Castle Hotel.

Thirty kilometres north west of Newcastle, the large format venue contains a bar, bistro, beer garden, gaming room with 30 electronic gambling machines, drive-thru bottle shop and 3.5 star accommodation rooms.

Panthera sold Maitland Riverside Plaza for $46 million in April.

The near 5000 square metre site at 78 Lawes Street, on the corner of George, also has a large car park.

JLL’s Ben McDonald and Kate MacDonald managed the off-market campaign for a partnership including operator Nick Quinn.

The Merewether Beach Hotel sold in May for $22 million – a Newcastle record pub price

It is the second recent investment-grade sale in the area – in April, Rick Abrahams and Harold Marshbaum’s Village Fair Shopping Centres paid Panthera Property Group $46m for the Maitland Riverside Plaza.

Busy 12 months for region records

The Windsor Castle deal comes a fortnight since a Dubbo record pub price was established with the $22.5 sale of the Amaroo Hotel.

Three months ago, Glenn Piper, on behalf of a syndicate, outlaid $22m for the Merewether Beach Hotel – setting a Newcastle watermark.

Last November, a partnership including Arthur Laundy banked c$25m – a record for an Orange pub – for the Hotel Canobolas.

Those buyers, Buildcorp founders the Sukkar family and Point Group Hospitality, are planning a refurbishment.

Their offer pipped the $24m watermark paid seven months earlier by Investment Management Group for the region’s Royal Hotel (story continues below).

Harvest recently paid $29 million – a local pub price record – for Wagga Wagga’s Victoria Hotel.

Harvest sets another record

In April, Harvest picked up the Victoria Hotel at Wagga Wagga from Waratah Funds Management for $29m.

That deal broke the c$27m region record established not long earlier when a Laundy backed consortium acquired the Thomas Blamey Tavern at Lake Albert.

However, the Windsor Castle is by far the priciest venue for Sydney-based Harvest, an eight year old pub fund directed by Chris Cornforth and Fraser Haughton.

The group has a significant inland property portfolio with the William Farrer Hotel, also in Wagga Wagga, Brady’s Railway Hotel in Albury and the Milestone Hotel in Dubbo. Last October it paid $32m for the Central Coast’s Woy Woy Hotel.

“With this [East Maitland] acquisition, Harvest has bolstered its stable of assets with what is undoubtedly one of New South Wales’ finest regional pubs,” Mr McDonald said.

“Our vendors have done an outstanding job in building a significant business and we are proud to have generated this market-leading transaction outcome for them,” he added. “This sale adds to a significant week of announcements for JLL Hotels following the $28m sale of the Glenquarie Tavern – NSW’s largest ever leasehold transaction and…the high profile listing of Australia’s greatest hotel – The Oaks, Neutral Bay, with price expectations of $175m-plus”.

Australia’s priciest pub deal, worth $160m, took place in April, when ex-lord mayor Nelson Meers acquired the Crossroads Hotel in Sydney’s west Casula.

Victoria’s biggest hotel sale occurred in May when the Hawthorn Football Club and private investor David Feldman banked $85m for the WestWaters Hotel & Entertainment Complex, at Point Cook, west of Melbourne.

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Marc Pallisco

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