Mercato on Byron, land trades for c$120m

The 1.1 hectare offering includes the two year old Mercato centre and a 4128 square metre site earmarked for a hotel.

Wingate and Azzura Investments have sold a Byron Bay shopping centre and neighbouring development site for a speculated c$120 million.

Mercato on Byron at 98-116 Jonson Street was completed two years ago.

Justin Hemmes’ Merivale is understood to be buying the former Cheeky Monkey at 115 Jonson St.

With 337 car parks and 8297 square metres of lettable area, the building is anchored by Palace Cinemas and Woolworths – the latter on a lease which, with options, could see it stay until 2069.

By income, the Weighted Average Lease Expiry is 9.3 years.

About 4128 sqm of B2 zoned land – previously accommodating the supermarket and recently earmarked for a luxury hotel – forms part of the transaction.

The speculated price reflects a circa-five per cent passing yield.

JLL’s Nick Willis, Jacob Swan and Sam Hatcher represented the vendors; Wingate acquired a three quarter stake from Azzura in 2015, which had started construction (story continues below).

Sydney developer Podia paid $18.55m for the neighbouring Byron Bay Backpackers in January.

The buyer is a partnership comprising the Mustaca family, which owns United Cinemas and Pelligra with fund managers Jason Meares of Option Group and Chakyl Camal of Panthera Group.

“The demand for non-discretionary based retail assets with a low risk profile, underpinned by major national retailers, has been a major global trend since the onset of the pandemic,” Mr Willis said.

“These types defensive assets continue to attract private and institutional capital sources given their resilience to external shocks,” he added.

Mercato on Byron neighbours the Byron Bay Backpackers, which Sydney developer Podia purchased for $18.55m four months ago.

Last March, a small shopping centre on 5390 sqm at 90-96 Jonson St traded for $29.6m.

Since earlier this month, it has been speculated that Justin Hemmes’ Merivale Group is in negotiations to buy the nearby former Cheeky Monkeys Restaurant and Bar (115 Jonson St).

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of