Raphael Lee Cass, Byron Bay
I left Bondi in 2013 to escape the steel cranes sprouting out of the demolished 1930s homes, to settle in quiet, natural Sunrise in Byron. The sounds of the sea and birds only to be heard in the early morning and evening. Early morning now brings the sounds of the tradies.
The Bondi developers have birthed a bunch of hipsters that are invading Byron. Building heights and floor/space ratios are not something to stick to; they are there to argue about. The term ‘boarding house’ has been redefined from a large building with five bedrooms where tenants shared the kitchen, bathroom and lounge amenities – to undersized apartments in buildings with tiny rooms and facilities with the provisional objective of low-cost rental. But it doesn’t look like low-cost rental to me.
In 2002 I unsuccessfully offered $1.4m (with three other couples) on a block of flats in Bondi. Unsuccessfully because the agent told us we were competing with Kerry Packer who had already proffered $1.9m for the units. They were to be in a NINE TV program about four couples renovating them for a prize. They managed to do cheap DIY renovations, got their five minutes of fame and disappeared. It made a lot of money for NINE and they’ve had about 12 shows in the series.
NINE owns major newspaper and media platforms and wants to make money in Byron. They are looking to buy five houses in Sunrise Boulevard. I belive it’s true because if you ask the neighbours there, they will say, ‘No comment’!
Dorothy May, who spoke to The Echo last week, is well placed to be complaining, if that’s the case. She will have tradies in the five houses next to hers for all hours, every day, for months. The ‘stars’ will do only so much in TV time and the builders will do the skilled work later.
Advice to homeowners: if you are going to sell to NINE, ask for double the current value of your home. Not the puny circa 2002 $500,000-above-market-value. They can afford it.