In what has been described as a "watershed moment" for the coastal destination of Byron Bay, the iconic Great Northern Hotel has been sold in an invitation only sale process for circa $80 million.
The hotel and the adjacent 51 room Lateen Lane Hotel were divested by the Mooney family who have owned and operated 'The Northern' for close to three decades.
Ben McDonald, senior vice president of JLL Hotels who was appointed to facilitate the transaction, says the major sale represents the undeniable strength of the Byron Bay property market.
"Whilst this sale represents the biggest pub transaction of 2021, we believe that the Byron Bay story has a long way to run with the new owners set to take a measured view on improving the existing offering for the benefit of local residents and the circa 4 million visitors set to enjoy the pristine location each year," says McDonald.
The new owners of the hotel, which commands a 2,000sqm corner position on Byron's Jonson Street main retail strip, are CEO of Johns Lyng Group (ASX: JLG) Scott Didier and MoneyMe (ASX: MME) founder Scott Emery.
The Melbourne-based duo are long time Byron regulars, and Didier's family is solely acquiring the 51-room Lateen Lane Hotel which will be run by Scott's daughter Casey who lives in Byron Bay.
The business associates have a 30-year association with the town including existing hospitality operations Beach Suites, Byron Bay as well as other commercial investments in the area.
"Scott and I are just so delighted to be the new custodians of the Northern and to have the privileged opportunity to engage with the local community in the next incarnation of this very special pub, in such a special place, and my family are so excited about the Lateen Lane Hotel and what we can create there," Didier said.
Both assets were sold in an invitation only tender process which produced over 12 bids, with buyer profiles extending from family offices to respected hoteliers and international lifestyle hotel operating groups.
"Anyone who knows how captivating Byron Bay is and understands the challenging hotel licensing and approvals environment will appreciate that the Northern is a truly irreplaceable business and real estate asset, driving the competition that has delivered its generational sale," JLL managing director John Musca said.
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