Bayshore Drive in Byron Bay is close to being transformed: the Elements of Byron resort is nearing completion and the creative industry mixed-use development, Habitat, is under construction.
Long disused Byron Bay resort property opening for business: Elements of Byron
Many locals will remember the saga of the Club Med site. A successful people-power protest put a halt to the construction of the “Club Merde a la Francais”. A fully self-contained resort was not appropriate for our topwn – then or now. After Club Med, the site was purchased by a development company called Becton and they went belly up during the GFC.
Lets hope we now have a good outcome for this property that has not found its full potential for decades. Elements of Byron are making the right noises about sustainability, nature regeneration and integrating themselves into the community. They plan to open on Feb 1st and are currently putting out a call for 100 new staff.
Habitat owners focus on maintaining Byron Bay style and fostering creative industry
Byron Habitat is a 7-acre site on Bayshore Drive opposite the IGA supermarket in Sunrise Beach. It will be a mixed-use complex including retail, residential and commercial. It will also feature a pool, restaurant and gym and is geared towards the burgeoning creative industry market. This is a demographic that makes a great fit for Byron. One of our defects has been that our youth have to leave to find meaningful work.
Designed by local Bangalow architect, Dominic Finlay Jones, all the residences combine home office spaces. The site is in line with the growing demand for creative industry hubs, which cater to people who can work from home while also having lifestyle facilities close by. The owners are being selective about the right ownership mix. Investors, speculators or passive landlords need not apply.
The site is already under construction and completion is scheduled for mid 2017. Stage 1 includes ten 2 and 3 bedroom townhouses with 30-50 square metre office spaces. It also includes studio offices with 80 m2 offices and 80 m2 open-plan living areas. Prices start at $650,000. Six larger three-bed, stand-alone houses with double LUG and office space are available for $1.05M.
Belongil Commuting Rail
To fully complete the Bayshore Drive transformation, Council need to donate some land they own in Bayshore for parking. Then the Elements of Byron donated commuter rail can be fully utilised for public use. Once that is in the place, the master plan presently in process can be more utilised by the public and not just Elements and Sunrise Beach residents. Byron CBD can then get out of the stranglehold of traffic, giving over some of Jonson St for pedestrians.
I got to experience the benefits of de-priortising the car in a tourist town recently at Ravello on the Amalfi Coast. Since this town was built around small cobblestone walking streets and central piazzas, it was a negative to get around by car. Everyone walked or caught the bus together and the locals were very welcoming and accepting of the tourists. I know it is hard thing for of us petrol addicts to get our heads around; what leave my car and walk? But once good alternatives are in place the advantages are many. Byron has the wrong geography for traffic – lets get rid of it.