Brisbane’s Art Deco Tivoli nightspot up for sale and could be potential residential development site

Another iconic Australian live music venue could one day become a residential development following the listing of the Tivoli live music venue in Fortitude Valley in inner Brisbane. 

The 1,500-seat music venue with its Art Deco façade is located at 48-52 Costin Street in and is considered one of Fortitude Valley’s premier live entertainment venues, hosting recent performances by Katy Perry and Lily Allen. 

It follows the listing of the former Metro nightclub – currently The Palace live music venue – in Melbourne. 

The Tivoli is being marketed by Leon Alaban and Sean Dollar of Ray White Hotels Australia on behalf on behalf of Dromahair Pty Ltd, which acquired it in 1999 for $1.65 million and has operated it as a music venue since. 

John O’Rourke – part of the O’Rourke property development family – is the managing director of Dromahair Pty Ltd, a hospitality business based in NSW, and has also been the manager of the Tivoli since 2004. 

Since purchasing the Tivoli he has invested millions in turning it into a premier music venue. 

O’Rourke is also the managing director and owner of Longyard Golf course in Tamworth and Strutters Nightclub in Rockhampton. 

The venue, which occupies a site area of approximately 2,160 square metres, is licensed to operate from 10am to 2am, Monday to Sunday. 

It will be auctioned onsite at 11am on Wednesday, July 18, 2012. 

Alaban says the O’Rourke family have decided to sell the Tivoli as a freehold going concern. 

“The O’Rourke family have decided to divest the Tivoli, as it forms part of a family trust and is therefore being sold to dissolve the trust and pay out the beneficiaries,” he says. 

A price well in excess of the previous selling price is expected, with Alaban telling Property Observer the O’Rourke family is putting it to auction to let the market decide its value. 

Potential buyers include entertainment promoters looking for a foothold in the industry as well as investors who would want to turn the Tivoli into a residential development further down the track. Hoteliers and pub and tavern owners may also show interest, says Alaban. 

The Tivoli has no development approval and is currently zoned for small recreation or nightclub use with an eight-storey height limit. 

There is no heritage protection for the property. 

The Tivoli, which has a distinctive Art Deco façade, was built in 1917 and started life as bakery.

It adjoins the massive $2.9 billion redevelopment of the RNA Showgrounds on the northern fringe of Fortitude Valley. 

“The showgrounds precinct is set to be transformed into a lifestyle and cultural hub for the community which will have enormous economic and infrastructure benefits to Brisbane and the immediate surrounding areas,” says Alaban.

“The venue presents immaculately and has an enviable reputation throughout the entertainment industry,” he says. 

“The Art Deco-style auditorium with mezzanine holds 1,500 standing or 700 seated patrons. The Tivoli also features a reception and foyer, a main bar, lower bar, mezzanine bar, artists lounge, kitchen and designated outdoor smoking area.”

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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