Riversdale exits Sydney with Unity Hall Hotel sale

28 November, 2019 by Vanessa Cavasinni

Riversdale has sold the Unity Hall Hotel in Balmain for $20 million, double what it was purchased for in 2011.

The hotel has been sold to Geoff Roddy, John McRedmond and their families, who have experience managing hotels both in Sydney and in regional New South Wales. The sale was negotiated by Andrew Jolliffe and Dan Dragicevich, directors of HTL Property.

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The Unity Hall Hotel is one of the most esteemed hotels in the suburb, and is cited as the birthplace of the Australian Labor Party. The corner pub sits on two high-traffic street frontages, and measures 562 sqm over two floors. The first floor houses the Workers bar, which operates from Friday to Sunday.

Its offering also includes 22 EGMs and a profitable bottleshop that services several local restaurants. It also has the only 3am licence in Balmain, and was sold with DA approval for works to be done to increase patron capacity. As such, the EOI process for the sale garnered quite a bit of interest.

“The market interest in the Unity Hall Hotel was commensurate with the quality of the offering, and the eventual buyers, with decades of local knowledge to draw upon, are well placed to take stewardship of the much loved community watering hole,” stated Dragicevich.

Out of Sydney

The sale of the inner-west pub sees the Riversdale Pub Fund — helmed by Geoff Dixon, John Singleton and Mark Carnegie —wind up its activity in Sydney. The remainder of its pub portfolio is now in Newcastle and Brisbane.

“The sale of the Unity Hall marks the last sale of our Sydney based pubs. We remain committed to the sector, having acquired the Lambton Park Hotel last year, and we are actively looking to buy pubs for our second fund. In the meantime, we are seeking to add additional pubs to those that we currently manage on behalf of external investors to Riversdale,” commented Riversdale director Matthew Beach.

Besides the Lambton Park Hotel in Newcastle, the Riveesdale Pub Fund, owns Brisbane pubs the Stock Exchange Hotel and The Elephant, plus small bar Greaser and an adjacent gallery space.