Adelaide's J & AG Johnston lists 17 century-old South Australian hotels

Alistair WalshDecember 8, 2020

One of Adelaide’s oldest family companies, J & AG Johnston, is selling 25 South Australian properties, including 17 hotels, a shopping centre and smaller residences and shops.

Established in 1843, the company produced ales and cordials and established the hotels as a distribution network. The company has retained ownership of the hotels to this day but the board recently decided to move out of the hotel business.

“The investment properties have served the company’s stakeholders well, but following a major strategic review our shareholders decided it is time to offer these properties for sale to enable their funds to be invested in other ventures,” says chairman Mark O’Leary.

The Jones Lang LaSalle memorandum says the portfolio “provides the smaller investor an attractive opportunity to secure well-leased investments in the desirable Adelaide Hills, Lower Murray and Fleurieu regions”.

Jones Lang LaSalle agent Jamie Guerra says the company will be focusing on its winery and golf course businesses.

The company owns 50 hectares of vineyards and other land holdings around Oakbank as well as the nine-hole Oakbank Golf Course, founded in 1892.

All the hotels are at least 100 years old. The oldest hotel in the group is the 1851-built Woodside Inn (pictured below), built by James and elder brother William Johnston in the year the town was established.

They include the Balhannah Hotel and Chinese Restaurant in Balhannah, Bridge Hotel in Langhorne Creek, Charleston Hotel in Charleston (pictured above), District Hotel in Nairne, Millers Arms Hotel in Nairne, German Arms Hotel in Hahndorf, Gumeracha Hotel in Gumeracha, Mannum Hotel in Mannum, Meadows Hotel in Meadows, Pier Hotel in Milang, Pretoria Hotel in Mannum, Rising Sun Hotel in Lobethal, Stanley Bridge Tavern in Verdun, Swan Reach Hotel in Swan Reach (pictured below), Totness Inn in Mount Pleasant, Woodside Hotel in Woodside, and Callington Hotel in Callington (pictured below).

Johnston’s aim with his brewing company was to supply as many of the hotels around the brewery as could be reached by bullock or horse-drawn wagons.

Together the hotel investments earn a total rent of $2.1 million per annum.

The Balhannah Junction Shopping Centre, anchored by Foodland supermarket, earns $221,800 per annum.

The properties are available individually or in one line.

The properties are being marketed through JLL’s Jamie Guerra and Roger Klem and Steele Hotel Brokers’ Darren Steele.

Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter

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