A former pub in Sydney’s Chippendale that remained abandoned for 30 years has hit the market as a vacant possession – but hopeful publicans may not find much use for it.
The Castle Connell Hotel, just behind the Central Park development, had been abandoned for three decades until it was bought by fund manager Impact Investment Group last year.
The group had originally planned to use 63 Kensington Street as its local headquarters and had submitted plans to council to convert it into office spaces, but after securing a different location in the CBD, it has opted to put the hotel back on the market.
The Tooth and Co-owned pub was known to be a watering hole for workers of the neighbouring Carlton United Brewery in the late 1800s. It was rebuilt in 1936 but sat empty due to licensing issues since the late 1980s.
While the building has a rich history in supplying liquor to thirsty locals, the property cannot be reopened as a pub, as the venue no longer holds its liquor and late night trading licences.
The surrounding area has undergone a significant redevelopment in recent years, with the Central Park commercial and residential precinct set for completion by the end of the year.
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CBRE’s Harry George is managing the sale, and said it has a lot of potential.
“It is a rare opportunity to buy a freehold asset within the internationally renowned Central Park precinct and we subsequently anticipate the asset will be hotly contested by both investors and owner-occupiers,” Mr George said.
It is being marketed to a wide range of investors or owner-occupiers, including in the health and well-being, medical, community and food and beverage sectors.
Declining to put a price on the building, Mr George said it’s not just about the money for Impact Investment Group.
“We are focused on de-risking the sale of the asset and we will also be looking for a buyer that is going to add value to the Central Park precinct,” he said. “The building is suitable for a multitude of user groups which include commercial, community centre, F&B and creative type users.
“We expect strong demand in particular from owner-occupiers that would prefer to control their own destiny as opposed to try to compete in this strong leasing market.”
Frasers Property Australia and Sekisui House have developed much of the mixed-use Central Park precinct, which features a hotel, retail and hospitality options.
Along with the pub, Impact Investment Group also acquired hotel and commercial space in the DUO towers in Central Park for just under $190 million in April last year, comprising a 300-room hotel and a commercial office space known as One Hundred Broadway.
Along with the sale of the former Castle Connell Hotel, the group has announced plans to sell its stake on One Hundred Broadway, worth about $70 million. The space has a pre-lease commitment from the University of Technology Sydney to house its Graduate School of Health for 15 years, with options.
CBRE’s Brendan Shipp, who is also overseeing the sale of the Castle Connell Hotel, said the area has been revitalised recently.
“Chippendale is currently experiencing re-gentrification,” Mr Shipp said. “The university precinct is expanding from Ultimo into Chippendale, UTS recently signed a lease to occupy 5,000sqm in 100 Broadway, the state government is about to complete a major expansion of Central Station and Mirvac is underway with the development at the Australian Technology Park, where the Commonwealth Bank will call home.”