The Ballina Hotel in River Street was listed for sale in August 2020, but it hasn't been sold and is no longer listed.
The Ballina Hotel in River Street was listed for sale in August 2020, but it hasn't been sold and is no longer listed.

'Billionaire playboys' should splash their cash on this pub

Two of Sydney's biggest "billionaire playboys" might be feeling a little sorry for themselves after plans to buy the Bangalow Hotel fell through.

It's understood Justin Hemmes and Stu Laundy recently made current owner Tom Mooney an offer on the pub.

Mr Laundy has just bought the Lennox Hotel for $40m, teaming up with Fraser Short for the purchase, while Mr Hemmes' last big buy was Randwick's Duke Of Gloucester for $32m.

Despite this pedigree in the hotel industry, the Mooneys made it clear to the pair last week the Bangalow Hotel was not for sale.

It's understood offers between $40m and $50m were made.

Okay, so the Bangalow pub is off the table.

But have Mr Hemmes and Mr Laundy seen the "blank canvas" that is the Ballina Hotel?

It's also in Tom Mooney's portfolio, so perhaps the ex-NRL legend mentioned it to them in their recent discussions.

Located in a prime position on River Street, the pub, nightclub and bottle-shop has been closed for more than five years.

It might be a little run-down, but it seems Mr Hemmes and Mr Laundy have plenty of cash to splash around and could easily get it back to its former glory.

 

The interior of the Ballina Hotel in 2014.
The interior of the Ballina Hotel in 2014.

 

The hotel last sold in 2003 for $2.4m.

According to CoreLogic, it was put on the market in August 2020, although it's not currently listed and hasn't been sold.

At the time of the listing last year CBRE Hotels described the Ballina Hotel as a "blank canvas hotel and development opportunity in the high-demand NSW North Coast".

"Offered for sale for the first time in 17 years," the advertisement stated.

"Sale includes rare 24-hour hotel licence with 16 poker machine entitlements."

The Ballina Hotel has had a rocky history.

In June 2010 the pub mysteriously shut its doors with no warning to staff or patrons.

At the time, Mr Mooney rejected rumours the hotel was in financial difficulty, and vowed to reopen with new operators as soon as possible.

That took three years.

The pub finally opened its doors again in 2013, but closed again just three years later and it hasn't been open since.

 

The Ballina Hotel in better days.
The Ballina Hotel in better days.

 

But sales of hospitality venues on the North Coast have skyrocketed in recent months, making it perfect timing for a savvy buyer to reinvent the Ballina Hotel.

Recent notable sales in the region have included the Byron Beach Hotel ($100m), The Farm ($16m), Byron Bay Backpackers ($19m) and the Lennox Hotel ($40m).

The Sun Hotel at Belongil is already attracting interest after hitting the market last week with a projected sale price of $12 million.

There's also talk the Brunswick Hotel, owned for three decades by John "Strop" Cornell, could enter the market with a price tag of more than $100m.



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