Career publican to sell Clare Castle Hotel

Melbourne, 24 August 2015 – Career publican Kevin McNamee has listed the freehold interest of the Clare Castle Hotel in Port Melbourne for sale after 40 years of ownership.

The early 1900s corner hotel is situated in the bustling city fringe suburb of Port Melbourne, benefiting from high exposure to the intensive passing traffic on Graham Street and the ever growing residential population in the gentrified area.

CBRE Hotels’ Scott Callow and Joseph Du Rieu have been appointed to steer the marketing campaign.

The hotel will be auctioned on Friday, September 18 and is tipped to be highly sought after by local, national and international investors and developers.

“Owner operator publicans and developers are continuing to vie for premium assets of this nature, where vacant possession is available in the short term,” Mr Callow said.

“The Clare Castle is being offered to the market at a time when the supply of this style of character property in city fringe locations is limited, but as demand from investors and developers continues to surge, underwritten by the current low cost of debt and falling Australian dollar.”

The Clare Castle has long been a favourite watering hole to Port Melbourne locals, with Mr McNamee having seen the extensive change in patron demographic over his 40 years of tenure.

Mr McNamee, who operated the historic pub for 25 years, sold the business some 15 years ago, with the current tenant operating the front bar and bistro dining operation seven days.  Any incoming purchaser will have the benefit of vacant possession in five years upon expiry of the final option in the lease.

Mr Callow said a major drawcard was the hotel’s high exposure site of approximately 550sqm, which is zoned General Residential.

“As a result, we expect significant interest from developers seeking to capitalise on the fact that the site is situated adjacent the forthcoming Fisherman’s Bend and Montague Development Precincts,” Mr Callow said.

Mr Du Rieu added: “The appetite for freestanding hotels in the tightly held city fringe has reached previously unparalleled levels with competition fierce between traditional owner operator publicans and developers with ambitions to capitalise on the large site area and General Residential Zone.

“We are looking forward to seeing how the market responds to the opportunity to acquire what is a highly strategic land holding surrounded by a breadth of development and amenity.”

Recent sales such as the Prince Alfred Hotel, Carlton, The Castle Hotel, North Melbourne, The Flying Duck Hotel, Prahran and the Corkman Irish Pub, Carlton have seen rates per square metre of site area soar as high as $14,000 per square metre for similar hotels.

The public auction for the Clare Castle Hotel will be held on-site at 12:00pm on Friday September 18th.

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