Darlinghurst Hotel Sold for $22.5 million

26 July 2022

The 151-year-old Lord Roberts Hotel in Darlinghurst has been sold for $22.5 million in a deal brokered by leading agency Savills following an Expressions of Interest campaign.

Prominently located at 64 Stanley Street on the Sydney CBD fringe, the historic three-level pub was sold on behalf of owner-operator Sue Cameron to buyer Adam Macfarlane, a forex trader. Savills agents Nick Lower, Selin Ince and Nick Butler transacted the sale.

With a site area of 259 square metres, “The Lord Bob” occupies the busy Stanley and Riley Street corner and features several restaurant, lounge and bar areas spanning across its three levels with a range of balconies plus a pool room and beer garden.

“This sale reflects the strength of the asset class, with city fringe hotels having enjoyed a measurable bounce back into profitable trading post-pandemic. The precinct is set for significant investment in development with the Lord Roberts at the very epicentre of planning proposals and properties under option,” said Nick Butler, Director, Hotels at Savills.

“The new owner is a successful forex trader and ex-pat who has returned to Australia and sees the growth potential in the hotel asset class. We understand he plans to undertake minor renovations to the pub to retain its historic character and charm,” he said.

According to Savills, competition was strong with a range of investors vying to secure the rare CBD fringe trophy asset.

“Inner-city pubs remain tightly held, and The Lord Roberts is ideally located right next to the CBD, just minutes from the most premier amenity the Eastern Suburbs has to offer. The pub has a truly unique, high exposure location with high visibility to the affluent catchment of the Eastern Suburbs,” Nick Lower State Director, Hotels, at Savills said.

Darlinghurst remains one of the inner city’s most densely populated suburbs and boasts some of Sydney’s most exciting hospitality offerings.

“The Lord Roberts is a true generational asset and hasn’t been offered for sale in more than 100 years. In addition to the popular pub, it has long-term potential as a significant CBD fringe landholding with freehold assets on one of Sydney’s most iconic thoroughfares,” Selin Ince, Savills said.

With a rich history, the site is part of the land originally granted to Commissary-General John Palmer in 1793. His grant extended from Woolloomooloo Bay into East Sydney and Darlinghurst areas.

Palmer subsequently purchased additional land extending into the area now known as Surry Hills and by 1800, had consolidated an estate of almost 200 acres. Known as “Little Jack” Palmer, he constructed a house on the land and became a prominent citizen with extensive farming interests.

As a farmer and grazier, Palmer was an unqualified success; however, his political affiliations and support of the Rum Rebellion led to the forced sale of his estates in 1814.