Entrepreneur John Singleton sells Bondi’s Icebergs leasehold

Originally published by Property Observer, 7 June 2018

Entrepreneur and adman John Singleton has sold the leasehold space that has the Level 3 Icebergs Dining Room and Bar on Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach. He was expecting around $15 million for the leasehold property at the southern end of the beach.

The 675 sqm dining space is currently sub-leased to Maurice Terzini and partners.

Singleton stepped up to save the Icebergs club in the 1990s, when the structure was riddled with concrete cancer.

The Australian reported it has been snapped up by the O’Brien Group, Australia and New Zealand’s largest privately owned hospitality, entertainment and leisure company.

They have over 6,500 employees and serve 16 million customers annually.

The O’Brien Group are perhaps best known for their sporting venues.

They have their name tied to likes of The Gabba and Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, AAMI Park in Melbourne, The Metricon in the Gold Coast and Eden Park in Auckland.

John Singleton recently opened his own eaterie, Saddles at Mount White, just north of Brooklyn which is being run by husband and wife team Cameron and Hayley Cansdell.

Saddles has reportedly been a “lifelong dream” of John Singleton, a long-time supporter and local of the NSW Central Coast.

A project of The John Singleton Group and White Dickson Architects, the venture involves the award-winning team of Michelle Leslie Design to oversee the interior style and Blair Build responsible for construction

Ray White Asia Pacific Director Andrew Jolliffe was handling the Icebergs sales campaign, and suggested when it first listed last year, both domestic and international buyers would show interest.

“Waterfront hospitality offerings are, frankly, so very rare in terms of the inherent barriers to entry for suitable replacements, that they rightfully enjoy the most revered of reputations from sophisticated investor groups and indefatigable loyalty from their respective patron bases” he said.

“What Singo and others did in backing the repurposing of this undeniably iconic property on Australia’s most famous beach is truly remarkable, and what the current operator Maurice Terzini and his extraordinary team are doing there seven days a week is, by any measure, world class.

“I don’t know anywhere else in the world where, at an A-grade hospitality development, you can enjoy a meal and drinks at a vantage point behind the line up of legendary right hand waves that serve as Bondi’s calling card in international surf culture. It really is uniquely superb.Singleton made a promise to the management over 25 years ago to completely rebuild the premises after it was found to contain concrete cancer.

He said it is an institution that the community, politicians, swimmers, diners and NSW and Australia can be truly proud of.

“It is etched in the Aussie ethos of helping your mates, doing your bit and providing something for future generations not only to be proud of, but to reflect on what we had to do to make this great place even better” said Singleton.

“It’s a true living example of community spirit, and if you go there on any given day, you can’t help but notice what it means to the community and its members.

“I’m really happy I was able to do my bit to save the Icebergs.”

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