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Sydney pub baron Justin Hemmes purchases first Melbourne venue in $44million deal

Pub baron Justin Hemmes to open his first Melbourne venue after buying historic building for $40m – as he vows to bring city back to live after Covid

  • Sydney pub baron Justin Hemmes set to open his first Melbourne venue this year
  • Rich-Lister struck $44million deal for Tomasetti House in Flinders Lane precinct
  • Hotel billionaire says he is committed to reinvigorating the city post pandemic

Pub baron Justin Hemmes is set to open his first Melbourne venue after buying Tomasetti House in Flinders Lane precinct for more than $40million. 

The 48-year-old Merivale boss confirmed the newest addition to his empire on Tuesday after acquiring the historic building from Sydney-based Millett family. 

It is the hotel billionaire’s first business venture in Victoria and his first outside New South Wales, where he owns and operates over 70 venues.

Sydney pub baron Justin Hemmes (pictured) is set to open his first Melbourne venue in the Flinders Lane precinct after striking a $44million deal

The Rich-Lister described Melbourne as a ‘very special city, with a unique energy’. 

‘Its local hospitality industry is one of the best in the world … we are honoured to open our first venue in Melbourne, and cannot wait to work alongside so many local industry greats,’ he said. 

Previous owners, the Millett family, more than doubled the venue’s value, after paying $16.2million for the seven-storey building back in 2014, The Age reported. 

The family were forced to withdraw the building from the market in March last year, after the coronavirus pandemic interrupted the sale. 

The historic building was acquired from the Sydney-based Millett family who bought Tomasetti House (pictured) for $16.2million in 2014

The historic building was acquired from the Sydney-based Millett family who bought Tomasetti House (pictured) for $16.2million in 2014 

Each of the seven storeys of the historic building are leased by office tenants and retailers.

Hemmes will be rubbing shoulders with some of the city’s top venues on Flinders Street, including Chin Chin, Garden State Hotel, and Cumulus Inc. 

The billionaire acknowledged the ‘terrible’ sufferings of the Melbourne CBD over the last year and vowed to help turn it around for local businesses. 

‘We are committed to doing everything we can to help reinvigorate the city and support it in its road to recovery,’ Hemmes said. 

The Rich-Lister owns and operates 70 venues in New South Wales, pictured: The Ivy precinct on Sydney's George Street

The Rich-Lister owns and operates 70 venues in New South Wales, pictured: The Ivy precinct on Sydney’s George Street

Although the pub baron hasn’t ruled out international expansion, he will continue to prioritise investing in Australia’s hospitality industry. 

Just last week Hemmes acquired the strata basement space of the Burns Phillips & Co building in Sydney’s Bridge street, which previously hosted Fratelli Fresh.  

‘Our [city] restaurants are stronger than pre-COVID, the nightclubs have opened back up … the local and state governments are doing a great job getting people back into the area. I don’t think I’ve ever seen George Street so fun and active’, he told Good Food. 

The new additions will join a growing family of popular Sydney venues that include crowd favourites Coogee Pavilion, Ivy, Mr Wong and Establishment. 

Pictured: Merivale venue The Newport in Sydney's Northern Beaches

Pictured: Merivale venue The Newport in Sydney’s Northern Beaches

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk