After almost three decades at the Great Northern Hotel the Mooney family has decided to offload the Byron Bay watering hole and adjacent 51-room hotel for about $80 million.
Byron regulars Scott Didier, founder and chief executive of ASX-listed Johns Lyng Group, and Scott Emery, founder of online lender MoneyME, successfully acquired The Great Northern, while Didier’s family bought the Lateen Lane Hotel.
Didier’s daughter Casey, who lives in Byron with her family, will run the day-to-day operations of the hotel.
Didier said the families had a 30-year association with the town with a number of commercial investments in the area, including the Beach Suites.
“Scott and I are just so delighted to be the new custodians of the Northern and to have the privileged opportunity to engage with the local community in the next incarnation of this very special pub,” Didier said.
“[Byron’s] such a special place, and my family are so excited about the Lateen Lane Hotel and what we can create there.”
JLL managing director John Musca said both assets were sold in an “invitation-only select tender process” that produced more than 12 bids and two shortlisted bidding rounds from family offices to some of the country's most respected hoteliers.
“Anyone who knows how captivating Byron Bay is and understands the challenging hotel licensing and approvals environment, will appreciate that the Northern is a truly irreplaceable business and real estate asset, driving the competition that has delivered its generational sale,” he said.
Musca said it was “the biggest hotel sale of 2021”.
JLL Hotels senior vice president Ben McDonald said it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to “enhance and optimise the trading footprint” of the Jonson Street mainstay.
“While this sale represents the biggest pub transaction of 2021, we believe that the Byron Bay story has a long way to run with the new owners set to take a measured view on improving the existing offering for the benefit of local residents and the circa four million visitors set to enjoy the pristine location each year,” he said.
Byron Bay’s real estate fortunes continue to rise within a very heated property market.
House prices from Ballina to Kingscliff are leading the regional residential market growth, performing twice as well as capital cities.
Houses in the region, which includes Byron Bay, Suffolk Park and Lennox Heads as well as hinterland villages such a Bangalow, have increased 21.9 per cent and apartments are up 15.5 per cent.
The median house value in the Byron Shire is now $1.4 million—that’s higher than Greater Sydney at $1.147 million.