Retail store in Byron Bay hits the market for the first time in years

This retail property in Bryon Bay is on the market for the first time in over 80 years.
This retail property in Bryon Bay is on the market for the first time in over 80 years.

A coveted retail outlet occupied by a leading lifestyle brand and positioned on one of Byron Bay’s busiest intersections is available to purchase for the first time since 1935.

Known as Timperley’s corner, the 559sqm high-profile CBD retail site is located at 14 Jonson Street in the heart of Byron Bay and is being offered for sale with a new five-year lease to Boardriders Group, whose brands include: Quicksilver, Billabong, Roxy and Surf Dive N Ski, the retail store that currently occupies the ground floor.

Originally purchased by Ruth and Harold Timperley in 1935, the property was run as a motor mechanics workshop before passing through to the family’s next generation, who were heavily involved in the town’s surfing community and developed the site as a thriving retail surf shop known as Bay Action, which was acquired by Billabong in 2010.

CBRE selling agent Mark Witheriff said the commercial property would suit a buyer looking for a prized asset.

“We anticipate it’s going to be sold to a private investor who really is looking for a trophy asset in a trophy location,” Mr Witheriff said. “It will most likely be somebody who quite potentially lives in Byron Bay and really understands it.”

Boardriders Group provides 85% of the site’s $614,537 in net annual income and the new owner has the opportunity to expand the site.

“One potential idea would be to convert the upstairs area into a rooftop bar and balcony area,” Mr Witheriff said.

“Obviously this is subject to council and construction constraints, but just looking at it, it’s an obvious outcome if someone wanted to do something like that.”

The busy intersection attracts plenty of foot traffic and is 300m from Byron’s main beach.  It is surrounded by other well-known international brands as well as iconic local retailers and hoteliers including The Beach Hotel and Arnhem Clothing.

Not all retail and hospitality venues in Byron Bay are open right now, but most traders expect business to return to normal on December 1 when venues will be open to both vaccinated and unvaccinated customers. Picture:

But trading in the area has recently taken a hit due current COVID restrictions that only allow fully vaccinated people into shops, with some traders opting to keep their doors closed until unvaccinated patrons can be served which is expected to start from 1 December in New South Wales.

Michael Lyon, Byron Bay Council mayor,  said restrictions had impacted trading.

“As you can understand there has been a range of difference responses from businesses in terms of their approach to the vaccine mandate,” Mr Lyon said.

“In terms of Byron central, the loosening of restrictions statewide has seen a tightening in Byron. We weren’t in lockdown but effectively half of our population went into lockdown unable to go shopping,” he said.

Around  55.3% of residents in Byron Bay have had their second COVID vaccine according to NSW Health with Mr Lyon commenting that “many businesses have closed their doors until 1st December – particularly hospitality but other stores as well.”

But with summer just around the corner and restrictions soon to lift, the area will again be booming said David Gordon, principal of Ray White Byron Bay.

“We are expecting a huge improvement in retail spending once Sydney opens up in two weeks and this will continue December, January and February next year. Increased spending will improve rents which will see commercial property values grow to another higher level once again.”

Mr Gordon told earlier this year that yields for commercial properties in Byron Bay were sitting at around 6% two years ago, where as he now expects that the current yield which is at around 4% could go up in the near future.

“In regards to Timperley’s Corner, there is the ‘iconic factor’ to its value that will drive the price up. There are many local speculators who are suggesting that it will achieve a sub 4% yield – who knows, there are a tremendous amount of buyers both national and international that see values and yields at a whole different level to the normal investor,” Mr Gordon said.

Mr Lyon is also confident business will begin to recover soon in Byron Bay.

“I am in no doubt that come summer time, business will do well and that there will be a lot of visitations in this area,” My Lyon said.

An industry insider said 14 Jonson St is expected to go for $15 million.

Timperley’s Corner is being offered for sale by public tender with the campaign closing on Wednesday, 17 November.