Harvey puts $50m price on Byron at Byron Resort

The pool at retailer Gerry Harvey’s Byron at Byron Resort & Spa, which could fetch as much as $50 million.
The pool at retailer Gerry Harvey’s Byron at Byron Resort & Spa, which could fetch as much as $50 million.

Retailer Gerry Harvey is looking to offload more of his trophy assets, with the luxury Byron at Byron Resort & Spa hitting the market for the first time since the billionaire opened it in 2005.

“It’s one of our trophy assets like Magic Millions,” Harvey told The Weekend Australian, adding that he also considered some of his New Zealand horse farms the prized pieces in his real estate empire.

“We have got a lot of assets. As (businessman) Sir Charles Lloyd Jones said some years ago, assets are a burden. I don’t need a lot of the things I have got,” Harvey says.

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Harvey, who turns 80 on September 18, says he believes the 92-suite Byron at Byron Resort, set amid 18ha of subtropical rainforest just outside the NSW north coast town, was worth between $40 million and $50 million.

The property is 50% owned by a private entity of Harvey’s, with the remainder held by a Harvey Norman Holdings subsidiary, with the decision to sell made jointly by both parties.

Harvey’s timing is spot-on, with global interest focused on Australian leisure assets since the Denver-based KSL Capital Private Equity Group took over Baillie Lodges and this year bought another resort, Silky Oaks Lodge in Queensland’s Daintree, into its portfolio.

In 2017 a private equity firm backed by Melbourne’s multi-billion-dollar Liberman family bought through CBRE the world-renowned Byron Beach House Hotel for $70 million. It was the single-largest Australian pub transaction — a record that still stands.

Byron at Byron selling agent Wayne Bunz says there is a high level of interest in Australia’s destination leisure market.

“After several of our high-profile clients approached us to find a location in Byron Bay, CBRE Hotels submitted off-market expressions of interest for the Byron at Byron, and subsequently convinced the vendors to take it to a public marketing campaign,” Bunz says.

He expects the level of interest in Byron at Byron will be substantial, not only from existing owner-operators and seasoned hoteliers, but also from high-net-worth individuals attracted by the prestige of owning a property in northern NSW.

“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 environmental protection laws,” Bunz says.

“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.”

Harvey recently listed his Runaway Bay waterfront apartment project site after toying with developing it for more than a decade. The site is for sale through Gold Coast agent Mark Feltell.

This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.