Postscript: this venue sold in August, 2019, for $45 million to Dubai-based Syrian businessman Ghassan Aboud.
Retail businessman Gerry Harvey is expecting between $40 million and $50 million from a sale of the Byron at Byron Resort and Spa near Byron Bay.
The luxury resort was built and opened in 2005 by the co-owner of the Harvey Norman chain.
On 18 hectares, the 92-suite venue is 50 per cent controlled by one of Mr Harvey’s co-entities. The balance is held by Harvey Norman Holdings, according to The Australian, which first reported the listing in this item.
After submitting off-market expressions of interest to Mr Harvey, agency CBRE convinced the vendors to list the property publicly.
Broker Wayne Bunz said he expects the level of interest to be substantial and come “not only from existing owner-operators and seasoned hoteliers, but also from high-net-worth individuals attracted to the prestige of owning a property in northern New South Wales”.
“It’s well noted that getting approvals to build this type of asset in Byron Bay and to acquire the land parcel is notoriously difficult, with the location characterised by its high barriers of entry for new accommodation offerings due to external protection laws,” Mr Bunz added in The Australian item.
“To date, no international branded resort exists in Byron and we are confident that this property could potentially allow an investor to partner with one of the world-renowned leisure brands to enter this tightly held location”.
Four days ago, reported research by Propertyology ranked Byron Bay as Australia’s most expensive city to live – replacing Sydney. The median value for a house in the town is $987,500 – up 64 per cent five years (both Melbourne and Sydney recorded a 44 per cent increase in values since 2014, the research said).
Byron Bay is home to 34,500 full-time residents as well as being a popular tourist destination.
In 2017, Impact Investment Group, which is backed by Melbourne’s Liberman family, paid Max Twigg $70 million for the Byron Hotel, also known as the Top Pub. Mr Twigg spent $44 million on the property 10 years earlier, having just sold a waste management business.
Coincidentally the hotel is leased to another Melburnian – John van Haandel – who has a 10-year renewal option once his current lease ends in about 2027.
Residential property in and around Byron Bay has also made headlines in recent years.
Amongst them is the mansion actors Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Patakay are building on the site of a former resort overlooking Broken Head. Its scale has been criticised by some locals as inappropriate.
It was also reported Hollywood actor Matt Damon bought, then sold, a home near the Hemsworth’s.
Last September we reported that Melbourne billionaire Stephen Ring was paying another Melbourne billionaire, Greg Hargreave, close to $10 million for a home on Marine Parade, overlooking Watego’s Beach.
In February entertainer Olivia Newton John listed her home in Ballina, near Byron Bay, after almost 40 years of ownership.