Property sales top $30m -- Kingscliff hotel and Homeart Centre sold

By ED SOUTHORN

TWO major Tweed commercial property sales have been confirmed for a combined total of well over $30 million.

The sale of Kingscliff's landmark Grand Pacific Hotel and the South Tweed Homemart centre show it is not only the residential sector of the Tweed residential real estate market which is booming commercial property is also giving massive returns.

The Homemart centre, at the bottom of Sexton Hill on Minjungbal Drive, with tenants including The Good Guys and Auto Barn, has been purchased for about $30 million by the huge BB Retail Capital private company from local owner Don Bilton of Bilton Holdings.

Formerly the old Egg and I chook farm, the Homemart centre was developed less than 10 years ago after the site was believed to have been purchased for about $1 million.

BB Retail Capital has invested more than $100 million in the past two years in bulky goods centres in NSW and Victoria.

The company led by Brett Blundy also controls retail chains Sanity, HMV and Bras n Things.

Homemart centre major tenants yesterday confirmed the sale, advising that representatives of the new owners had toured the site last week and sent letters to tenants, who expect at the moment there will be no changes for shoppers.

Grand Pacific Hotel publican John Coleman said settlement of his sale was expected today, to the local Taphouse group, which owns the Imperial Hotel in Murwillumbah, the Chinderah Hotel and the Coolangatta Sands.

Mr Coleman said he paid $1.5million and borrowed $1.3 millionto buy the pub in 1986, but his sale price was confidential, although he no longer needs to "do too much at all".

He said the hotel industry was currently enjoying a "40-year high", assisted by pokies revenue, and it was hard for independent publicans to resist selling up. He said his pub was ranked 20th in NSW outside Sydney for pokies turnover.

"I've been here 21 years and 55 days, and now's a good time to get debt free," Mr Coleman said.

He said he would not be leaving the Tweed.

"I'll have time to lose a few kilos and help coach my daughter's netball team."

The hotel's new owners could not be contacted yesterday.



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