A 40-hectare North Belongil beachfront block is, according to local sources, projected to sell for between $160 million and $180 million. It belongs to billionaire mining engineer Brian Flannery and his real estate savvy wife Peggy, who runs the KTQ Group. Pacifico Property’s Christian Sergiacomi and CBRE Hotels’ Wayne Bunz are in charge of flogging it. The land used to be home to a 9 hole golf course.
A North Byron beachfront block of land (stretching 1.1km longways across the beach) is being put up for sale. It comprises 40 acres, and it is part of the 90 acres of land billionaire mining engineer Brian Flannery and his family bought for 18.5 million 12 years ago. The family is now looking to sell 40 acres of that land. Given how bonkers the Byron Bay property market has become, they are likely to turn a major profit in doing so.
The land has an asking price of more than $160 million. It’s being marketed via an expressions of interest campaign, which will conclude on September the 28th. Other properties on the land and nearby include the Elements of Byron luxury resort, which Brian Flannery and his wife Peggy Flannery developed through their KTQ Group at a cost of $120 million, and which is part of the Accor Hotels MGallery Collection.
AFR reports, “Another small part of the original site housing the Sun Hotel was sold last year to prominent Sydney developer Philip Wolanksi’s Denwol and the Winchester Group for about $11 million.”
The 40 hectares that is currently up for sale sits between the Elements of Byron resort and the Tyagarah Nature reserve. It is also made up of four land titles, coming to market after a rezoning process that has caused some consternation among some locals on the Byron Bay Community Facebook page (but which is presumably an attractive feature to prospective buyers). It is also serviced by town infrastructure. Part of the beachfront block used to be a golf course. The sellers are hoping to rouse interest from international buyers.
According to The Hotel Conversation, KTQ Group Development Director Jeremy Holmes has said: “The land is a remarkable piece of the Australian coastline. We have been the fortunate caretakers of this site for 12 years. In addition to the cleared portion of the site which was formerly a nine-hole golf course, there is a diverse swathe of protected and restored habitat including dunal, wetland and sclerophyll ecologies.”
The rezoning process permits the site to be subdivided into nine lots that can each accommodate one residence. The place is also, attractively, just a 3-kilometre walk down the beach to the main town of Byron Bay.
Though hotelmanagement.com.au reported in 2016 that “Elements of Byron owner, Peggy Flannery, held tight reins during the planning process to ensure that nature, not buildings, was the dominant experience” and that Elements of Byron had a “10% only development footprint coupled with innovative design and technology” many local residents are not sold on how eco-friendly this latest business move will prove.
Speaking about this latest selling off of property (not about Elements of Byron) one Facebook user wrote: “They’re going to divide it into 9 super blocks with one residential house on each.. meanwhile in the real world we have a housing crisis.”
Another optimist wrote: “I’d love to see the land next to Elements (that runs parallel to the carpark) with beach access be turned into a public reserve for future generations to enjoy. Surely given the net worth of the current owners & their ties to the Byron community, they could exclude that small parcel from the sale.”
A third disgruntled Facebook user said: “So the Flannerys got it rezoned and they keep the subsequent windfall profit while adding nothing. Best way to make money in Australia is to buy land, lobby Council’s and government, get it rezoned with little or no community benefit then sell it. Ain’t the system grand.”
Another common gripe in the community group’s Facebook page is the lack of affordable housing, and how middle and low income earners are being priced out of the market (that said, some people believe this ultra-exclusive style of development has a silver lining in that it may be – for this particular region – better for the immediate environment than affordable housing would have been).
Several interested parties have already expressed their interest in the beachfront block of land, it has been reported. With a lot of young people moving to more affordable pastures like Newcastle and the Gold Coast, however, it remains unknown how long the new owners will have to wait for their Oat Milk Flat Whites when they stroll into town, with the Byron Bay Mayor worrying that there may be a staff shortage in the region’s cafes and bars come the summer crunch, telling Daily Mail Australia: “We are going to be in real trouble if we have a busy tourist season.”
I’m sure there’s a violin for that.