The emerging property mogul who bought Hook Island Lodge last year has acquired the iconic Commodore Hotel in the inner northern Sydney suburb of McMahon's Point for $29 million, with plans to refurbish the 169-year-old before the keys are handed over in August.
Glenn Piper, who has purchased the property from Good Beer Company in an off-market deal brokered by JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group, intends to 'dive deep' into the history of the pub and its surrounding community to ensure any changes respect the rich culture developed over the decades.
In a similar fashion, he sought to pay tribute to the celebrated surf culture of Freshwater in the Northern Beaches with his transformation of the Harbord Hotel in 2020.
The name of the pub is an homage to Sydney identity and colonial ferry operator Billy Blue McMahon, after whom the suburb and Blues Point Road are named, according to archived materials from The Town and Country Journal on Trove which were originally published in 1901.
The Commodore Hotel purchase represents the first inner-city venue of Piper’s NSW property portfolio, which since last year also includes the leasehold of Q Station on the headland of Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Elsewhere in NSW, he has the freehold on The Beach Hotel in Newcastle’s Merewether.
"Standing proudly on the corner of Blues Point Road, the Commodore Hotel is without a doubt one of North Sydney’s greatest pubs - and one with an incredibly rich and colourful history," Piper says.
"I am honoured to continue the Commodore’s long legacy and excited to have the opportunity to elevate it into something really special that reflects the community today."
JLL states there are currently development application-approved plans for the Commodore Hotel to have a new gaming room, sports bar and alfresco dining options.
"Capital continues to seek exposure to ‘alterative assets’ that display strong IRR (internal rate of return) characteristics and have the ability to generate strong cash flow through trading operations," says JLL Hotels executive vice president Ben McDonald.
"With genuine value-add potential via the approved DA, in addition to the compelling investment drivers, The Commodore was keenly pursued by those selected to participate in the sale process."
"The significant brand equity of The Commodore in the local hospitality scene was a major drawcard for the purchaser who will certainly build on the pub’s strong reputation and business. We look forward to seeing The Commodore evolve over time under Mr Piper’s watchful eye," adds JLL senior vice president Kate MacDonald.
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