City icons change hands

The Royal Hotel has been sold while Riverside Plaza has just been placed on the market.

The Royal Hotel has been sold while Riverside Plaza has just been placed on the market.

The Royal Hotel has been sold while Riverside Plaza has just been placed on the market.

The Royal Hotel has been sold while Riverside Plaza has just been placed on the market.

SOME of the city's biggest commercial buildings are changing hands after local shopping hub Riverside Plaza was recently put up for sale, and the newly renovated Royal Hotel was sold to a Canberra businessman.

Riverside Plaza owner AMP Capital Investments placed the 21,000 square-metre mall on the market in March, with an expressions of interest sales process to be handled by commercial agent, Jones Lang LaSalle.

Plaza marketing manager Heidi Flaherty told The Queanbeyan Age there was "strong demand" for retail assets, prompting the owner to sell.

"Given the current strong demand for quality retail assets, AMP Capital undertook an expressions of interest campaign on Riverside Plaza.

"AMP Capital actively manages a diversified property portfolio on behalf of its clients, which includes both acquiring and divesting assets," she said.

AMP Capital purchased the centre in 1999, and will sell it as a complete asset, including the building and three associated car parks.

Local retailer Steve Stavreas, owner of Dimitries Jewellers inside the plaza, said tenants had been informed of the sale. And Mr Stavreas said he didn't expect the process to cause difficulty for tenants.

"They've informed us of the pending sale. They haven't given us a lot of reasons or understanding why," he said.

"But there's nothing in that that would pose any direct consequences for us at this time. I think the consequences for us will be at the time of renewal of leases, and it really depends on the attitude of the new owners."

Meanwhile, the inner city watering hole The Royal Hotel has also changed hands, just two years after a multi-million dollar renovation rescued what had become a struggling, 90-year-old main street pub.

Former owner Peter Griffiths said he'd accepted an offer that was "too good to be true" for his share of the pub from a silent partner.

Real Estate sales data sourced by The Queanbeyan Age listed the sale price at $8.2-million but neither party involved in the sale confirmed the figure.

Mr Griffiths- a Goulburn-based former chef turned hotelier who also owns Goulburn's Tatts and Astor hotels- said he'd now turn his attention to other hotels in the region.

"I've still got the two pubs in Goulburn, and I'm looking for other opportunities now without any partners.

"We've got two options: we can jump into bed with one of the big pub owners and really expand rapidly, or there's a couple we can look to acquire ourselves and do exactly the same thing.

"We've got a bit of a knack of picking up pubs that haven't been looked after or loved for some time and turning them into something successful," he said.

And Mr Griffiths said he was proud of the restoration of The Royal, which was awarded Best Redeveloped Hotel award (country hotel) from the New South Wales Hotel Association in 2012.

"It came up well, didn't it?" he laughed.

"We won a couple of accolades there, which was good for our reputation, and the offer was too good to be true, so you take it when you can."

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