Merivale have made another hotel acquisition in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, buying Hotel Centennial in Woollahra.

The purchase comes off the back of the Royal Hotel Bondi buy a fortnight ago. The off-market sale — price undisclosed — was handled by Andrew Jolliffe of Ray White Hotels on behalf of the Medich family’s Halcyon Hotels. Jolliffe previously handled the sale of Woolloomooloo Hotel, Woolwich Hotel and Buena Vista Hotel for the family in 2015.

The Medich family purchased Hotel Centennial in 2014 and transformed the venue into a sophisticated pub that attracts a fashionable set and is known as a meeting spot after Randwick race day events.

“Like a handful of other iconic hotels, The Hotel Centennial is a very valuable piece of Sydney commercial property, and for decades has been a favoured meeting place for local residents and visitors to the area,” said Jolliffe.

“We are delighted to have again enjoyed the Medich family’s trust with such a valuable asset, and feel equally pleased to have matched this famed property with such an appropriate suitor in Justin Hemmes.”

Merivale will take over operations of the venue on 12 December. The Paddington’s executive chef Ben Greeno and Fred’s head chef Danielle Alvarez will preside over the venue’s dining room and public house menu.

In a statement, Merivale confirmed their continued plans for growth in Sydney:

“Hotel Centennial continues Merivale’s rapid program of expansion into both thriving and untapped areas across Sydney. Earlier this month, Merivale announced the acquisition of Bondi’s Royal Hotel, closely following The Collaroy in August and Vic on the Park in October.

“Merivale will also open the doors to the second phase of The Newport and the refurbished beachside pub, The Collaroy, this summer. Further details on both venues will be announced shortly.”

Oxford Street sale

In a separate eastern suburbs transaction, the Kospetas family have purchased the leasehold of Brighton Hotel on Oxford St in Darlinghurst, also strengthening their presence in the area. The family’s pub group, Universal Hotels, purchased Kinselas in late May for $23 million from the divesting Australian Pub Fund.

The transaction was negotiated by Mike Wheatley and Kate MacDonald of Knight Frank. MacDonald noted that there was a lot of upside in the hotel for Univerals Hotels to capitalise on.

“The hotel is in a commanding position on Oxford Street, so the exposure is most certainly a strength. The building is four storeys tall with plenty of potential for internal refurbishment, and the level one  ‘Brighton Up Bar’ has built quite a name for itself in the live music space, which I am sure Universal Hotels will continue to nurture. Whilst the lock-out laws have impacted the late license, the live entertainment draw card should place the hotel in a good position to receive some relief.”

While in recent years the lower part of Oxford Street has suffered from stagnation in its nightlife, it is once more picking up with the introduction of small bars like Della Hyde, and the revitalisation of pubs like Colombian Hotel.

This article was originally published on Australian Hotelier.

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