Heritage listed Ballina Manor on the market for a ‘bargain’ price

Ballina Manor at 25 Norton Street, Ballina, is listed at $2.5 million.

A heritage-listed hotel on the NSW North Coast that was originally built in the 1920s as a seaside boarding school for girls has been listed for $2.5 million.

The Edwardian-style building has a rich and colourful history after being rescued from demolition, and has traded as Ballina Manor Boutique Hotel and restaurant for the past 20 years.

Ballina Manor was once a boarding school for girls.

It was first listed in July through expressons of interest to gauge initial interest but has since been relisted at $2.5 million.

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Marketing agent Jason Monk, of McGrath Tweed Heads, said it was an outstanding investment for a buyer looking to purchase in the growing Ballina Shire, and represented excellent value, considering a 670 sqm house across the road at 24 Norton Street sold for $1.2 million last week.

It is fully operational hotel and has no vacancy over the holiday period.

Owners Rebekah and Duncan Drummond purchased Ballina Manor in 2018 after it was placed into forced administration when a former director was convicted of fraud.

The building at 25 Norton Street, Ballina, was constructed in 1924 and operated as the North Coast Girls College for five years, before the Great Depression forced its closure.

The 1844 sqm property’s grandeur faded over the decades to follow, with its wide verandas closed in and the building converted to a block of 16 flats during the 1970s.

One of the hotel rooms.

Ballina Shire Council had reportedly given in-principle support for the building’s demolition when it was purchased in 1999 by former Lismore Mayor Jeffrey Champion, who instead invested $2m in its extensive restoration in period style.

The Ballina Manor became a local icon recognised by council for its historical significance. Its 12-room hotel gave guests a unique glimpse of a bygone era, while the fine dining restaurant hosted many special celebrations for residents of the regional town.

It includes a restaurant.

The property includes 13 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms and 12 car spaces, as well as a commercial kitchen which services the licenced restaurant that was originally the dining room for young college boarders.

A grand central staircase connects the 12 guest rooms, which each have an attached ensuite and private balcony access, and are styled with antique furniture including four-poster beds and original blueprint plans on the walls.

Ballina Manor: 25 Norton Street, Ballina

There is a caretaker’s home and courtyard restored with sandstone transported from the historic site of the former Old Sydney Town, while the interior features high ceilings, ornate timber detailing and period light fittings and chandeliers.

Mr Monk said the Ballina Manor was “a truly unique piece of North Coast history”, and had won a number of industry awards over the years.

“This is a functioning hotel that has a 100 per cent occupancy for the holiday season, and will ideally suit a couple who wants to live and work in a flourishing hospitality environment,” he said.

The hotel would be an excellent investment property.

While the restaurant had ceased trading due to COVID-19 restrictions on guest numbers, the accommodation business had remained strong with the NSW Government’s push on local tourism.

“This is one of Ballina’s best pieces of real estate and one of the biggest parcels of land in the town, located on arguably one of Ballina’s best streets,” Mr Monk said.

He said real estate in the coastal region was poised to boom, with investors priced out of nearby Byron Bay looking to invest in Ballina instead.