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September 25, 2023

Old Byron Woolies car park DA is back – make me the Gold Coast!

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An artist’s impression of ‘The Bohemian’ from the DA.

A $57.2 million mixed-use residential and retail development planned for the heart of Byron Bay is back on public exhibition, after the owners decided to modify their plans.

‘The Bohemian,’ a three-storey 7,093 square-metre structure proposed for land adjacent to the old Woolies site has drawn a mixed response from locals so far.

One unimpressed resident described the project, proposed for 90-96 Jonson Street, as ‘Gold Coast lite’, while another said it was ‘a greedy undertaking’.

The Development Application (DA) has already been approved by Council, but has recently been resubmitted with a number of significant modifications and is now on public exhibition. This includes reducing the number of proposed apartments from 54 to 44, and increasing the number of living and private open space areas.

The number of units may have shrunk, but The Bohemian remains a sizeable proposal, including basement car parking for 168 vehicles, ground floor retail and food premises with two levels of two-and three-bedroom apartments above.

An artist’s impression of ‘The Bohemian’ from the DA.

More rooftop pools

In keeping with the current trend in Byron Bay, the proposal includes a rooftop club featuring a 25m heating swimming pool, gym, spa and sauna.

The developers have also said there will be an ‘activated laneway’ with food and beverage offerings called Spice Alley. 

While a number of public submissions in the original DAs were positive, one resident lamented the further ‘Goldcoastification’ of Byron Bay. 

‘If the proponents were serious about reacting to “community needs” they would use this development as an opportunity to address the chronic housing shortage in this town, and not come up with a totally unwanted, unneeded, greed-driven appeasement to the wealthy capital city investors,’ they said.

To make a submission, visit www.byron.nsw.gov.au.

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  1. Why aren’t we seeing the best in environmental architecture and design in these developments ? The building design is not even sympathetic to place white Mexican looking buildings.
    The fact that we are attracting developments like this with names like Bohemian and Bonobo is testimony to the fact that Byron has some serious work to do with regards to brand. Who are we are what do we want to be? We are best placed for regenerative tourism as it has a symbiotic healthy relationship with community well-being. This doesn’t have to translate to “ hippy” design quite the contrary sustainable and regenerative architecture requires intelligent and futuristic thinking and collaboration.
    Globally progressive countries are looking at hotels and precincts that incorporate biophilic design, utilise passive design, ecological materials and renewable or alternative energies and are holistically designed from concept to completion cradle to grave thinking. These same establishments can coexist if well designed to provide spaces for community to create connection and meet social needs. We aren’t attracting anything like this. There is lots of work to be done and whilst housing is paramount we need to look at the bigger picture and have a vision and brand with strategies that support a “ good” future which is one that is regenerative. Where are we heading Byron?

    • Change is so difficult for some – eh? Who cares how these developments are named!!! We’re heading rudderless into the unknown – as we always have. Anything will be better than what was/is there now. The finished development at the end Jonson Street drew years of whining from some locals. Look at how well it is used now. Bring on the new!

      • “The finished development at the end Jonson Street drew years of whining from some locals. Look at how well it is used now. “.
        The finished development at the end Jonson Street is a pretty well unused Retail Dead Zone, that should have been a much more sympathetic two storys as a CBD entry, and should have had a reduced development footprint instead of breaching its floor space ratio, which ironically would have left open space at the front for an open space al fresco dining which would have been its best attractor for customers (note Council is in breach of Planning Law by not including assessment of basements and underground car parks in Floor Space Ratios – which is why we are getting big blocky developments along Jonson Street) – and the Jonson Lane developers own auditors stated that their assessment of cost didnt include all costs and that Council should do its own cost assessment to allot developer contributions, but I dont think that Council has even done that – note this development was rejected by a State Gov Planning Panel as it breached height and floorspace regs, and that it was then bought back to Council at an alleged lower cost, that meant it was a lower value than triggered the previous requirement for it to go to a Planning Panel, and where Council gave Consent for its 4 storys in breach of its 2 story LEP height and in breach of Councils DCP that states the recreational roof facilities must not breach LEP heights. Council did a public meeting at the Community Centre , but no atendees supported an increase in LEP height for this site. Council then did a Town Centre proposal to increase heights but met with submissions and petitions against increasing heights, but they gave Consent anyway. We dont have to be the same as other places with our low key ambiance turned into streets between blocky buildings breaching height and site coverage regulations

        • Good one. John, you hit the nail fair and square. Council is subservient to developer diktats and is not serving the best interests of Byron and its community.

    • Do you even know what building materials they are using..
      Do you even know the building practices they are using..
      Have you even seen the building plans externally or internally, do you know if they are using solar etc.. and what colour should it be painted?
      I think it looks great and will fit in well within Byron’s future..

  2. Oh, Oh, Oh. The road in the picture looks like it is only wide enough for one car going one way. No traffic with 500 cars on the road.
    The road needs to be double or triple the width to fit all the cars on it and then there is parking as well.
    These establishments are built to double the density and then they then draw them with no one there.

  3. Well …
    First – white is so not in right now.
    B. How does this giant pavlova of a building relate at all to people native to, or who inhabit Bohemia, the western region of the Czech Republic?

  4. Here we go again. LETS REMEMBER THE RISK OF ASBESTOS AND THE DANGERS OF THE OLD TIP THAT RESIDE WITHIN THE ENVIRONS OF THE OLD WOOLIES. This saga was highlighted during the construction of MERCATO, adjacent to Woolies. Best practice principles were applied AFTER REMOVAL OF HAZARDOUS WASTE BY BYRON COUNCIL. Best practice requires removing toxins with strict protocols. 1. Public information of removal is required BEFORE work is taken out. . 2 Warnings to self protect eg. masks, washing of clothing, closing of windows until the job is completed. 3. Removal trucks must be SEALED. Not in an umbrella style but deep sealed contact with toxic contaminations.
    Of course with the ‘high end/edgy’ development now progressing the REAL DANGERS to the community/TOURISTS are the years of asbestos contamination that result in lung disease and eventual death. One particle of Asbestos is all that is needed. As we tend to be blinded by glamour we will notice the dismissal of HEALTH IMPERATIVES…..VERY SAD….AND DANGEROUS.

  5. Just another example of BBSC on its knees with its mouth open, pandering to the wealthy.
    Infrastructure, what upgrades has coucil made to help cater for these new multi story building? sewage, drainage, road works, etc
    Get your house in order first BBSC, than make the developers get onto their knees, not you on yours.


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