Hot Property for September
Whenever First National agent Tara Torkkola enters East Mullumbimby, the resident’s eyes go “Kaching! Kaching!” Tara’s recent auction efforts have gone off like fireworks. She first had a hand in her own property sale at #12 New City Road, which sold for $758K – well above the mid 600s expected range. Then last month, #24 went under the hammer achieving a remarkable $900,000 with a price guide of $785,000. Admittedly, this home had a studio with dual access, but still a massive price in what I believe is not the best area of Mullum.
There have been a number of excessive sales in Mullum of late. Many locals are concerned about losing that special, distinctive vibe Mullum has managed to cultivate over the years. There is understandable concern these prices are starting to mimic the craziness of Byron and will change the nature of the town. If it is any consolation, nearly all of the people I help to settle here are trying to add to the vibe, not change it. But yes, it is getting richer and we will be forcing out long term residents that cannot afford the rents. Anyone with a workable idea on how to fix this, please send in your plan (then we will send you to the Middle East to fix that as well).
Renovations in Town
Beach – Byron Bay
The humble Beach Café on Clarks beach has seen a number of transformations over my time here. It is now called “Beach – Byron Bay” and this latest renovation comes after the successful beachside business was partly purchased by Sydney arts couple, Leon and Margaret Fink. Menu prices have also had a major face-lift as well. But the location and view is still priceless.
Margaret Fink is a successful Film and TV producer (My Brilliant Career, Candy). Leon Fink, who turns 80 this year, is a developer, entertainment entrepreneur, restaurateur and philanthropist. This should be viewed as a stamp of approval for local owner Ben Kirkwood. The Fink Group has a history of only partnering with Australia’s leading chefs and restaurants, like Tetsuya Wakuda, Tony Bilson, Peter Kuruvita and Guillaume Brahimi.
Byron Bay Brewery and Buddha Bar
Also under renovation is the Buddha Bar and Brewery at the old Arts Factory site in Gordon St., Byron Bay. The Byron Bay Brewery was recently purchased by multinational, Lion Nathan and the premises housing the brewery and Buddha Bar are being revamped. The spa and cinema are a separate business.
The Byron Bay Brewery was under pressure a few years ago for licensing its Pale Ale to Carlton United without a public disclosure. The local brewery has wanted to sell for some time after failing to get expansion plans through council. This story brings up a few interesting issues. How do we as a community when “Byron Bay” is being used for branding, especially if the product is not actually manufactured in Byron Bay? Also, a main reason they had to sell up was because they were not able to expand their business because of compliance regulations and the council generally being anti development. I know of a few businesses in this predicament. How do we balance limiting development while still wanting to provide room to grow to those businesses capable of giving full employment to more than a few?
More Beer – Stone and Wood
Another local brewing business is Stone and Wood. They managed to side step the expansion issue by opening a bigger brewery in Murwillumbah but have decided to stay local as much as possible. They are very much part of the community and are big supporters of local events, charities and community organisations. They run a funky brew house and small retail outlet at Boronia Place in the Byron Arts and Industry Estate. Try their Pacific Ale as its excellent.
Spell and the Gypsy Collective
Wow! Since I am talking up local Byron businesses. How about this small independent local fashion label scooping the Telstra Business of the Year prize? Sisters Elisabeth Abegg and Isabella Pennefather employ 50 women in Byron Bay, have over 800,000 website followers, sell online to over 130 countries and have the likes of Katy Perry, Mylie Cyrus as fans. They run a small retail showroom at the Browning Street roundabout at the south side of town, opposite the Green Garage. Check it out!
Brunswick Picture House
Something that is not to be celebrated is the sudden closure of the Brunswick Picture House. A few issues ago, I lauded the resurrection of this derelict building and was thrilled to see it was resurrected into an arts and cabaret venue able to support the many talented local performers. Seems like there has been a complaint from a neighbour, and coupled with a not completely kosher “existing rights” zoning approval, council have forced it to close. Please google “change.org save Brunswick Picture House” and sign the petition to support this unique and worthy asset to our local venues.
Wategos Beach stunner
Janis Perkins from Real Estate Of Distinction agency secured the sale of “Wattai” 4 Palm Valley Way, Wategos Beach for $5.6M. The property was owned and renovated by architect Peter Maddison who is the presenter of Grand Designs Australia. He purchased the property in 2004 for $3.7M and now has sold it to Melbournian, Alan Sinclair.
2 X Byron Bay development sites
There is a block of land in Byron going to auction soon on the south side of Byron. It is just over 2000 M2 and can be subdivided into 4 X 500 blocks. If the agent estimate for $1.8 – 1.9M is accurate this could be a good buy considering how much half blocks are selling for now in Byron. Council contributions will still need to be paid as well.
Large block in Byron
This double block on Paterson Hill is one of the last ones left. It has ocean views north west to the bay as well as north east to the lighthouse. Original house is in OK condition but will need some work. The back block is in a great quite street and only a hop and skip to Clarkes Beach. All be like for mid to high 2s.
As I have predicted in previous newsletters, Ocean Shores is now getting a lot more buyer attention. There are still some entry level properties coming on the market – under $600,000 but do not stay listed for long. I have been helping clients lately offer full price to good properties and have it taken off the market. Entry level buyers may soon be left behind I am afraid. I can understand the desire of wanting to limit any further development in our beautiful shire. Opposing all development while still supporting affordable housing, helping struggling renters and young couples getting their first home – this is conflicted thinking.