Mercato on Byron developers are planning to build a mixed-use development comprising of a 146-room hotel, function centre, and retail space including shops, food and drink premises next door to the new shopping complex on Jonson Street.
Mercato on Byron developers are planning to build a mixed-use development comprising of a 146-room hotel, function centre, and retail space including shops, food and drink premises next door to the new shopping complex on Jonson Street. Jasmine Burke

New $40 million mega hotel proposed for popular town

A NEW $40-million mega hotel has been slated for the old Byron Bay Woolworths site.

Mercato on Byron developers are planning to build the mixed-use development comprising of a 146-room hotel, function centre, and retail space including shops, food and drink premises next door to the new shopping complex on Jonson Street.

According to a development application lodged to Byron Shire Council in 2018, works would include demolition of the existing building, and the new proposed development would comprise of a floor area of 7515 square metres.

But that takes it more than 20 per cent above the 11.5m height limit for central Byron, and exceeds the floor-space ratio limit for this part of town by 36 per cent, with a permitted floor area of 5366.4 square metres.

Named Essence of Byron, the three-storey development is topped with a private rooftop pool and bar and comes at an estimated cost of $39,897,000.

A report submitted in the DA by the applicant states the proposed development is "appropriate to the locality in which it is located as it provides efficient use of existing infrastructure and supports surrounding local businesses with additional tourist accommodation".

"The hotel has been accommodated with a number of ancillary uses including a function centre and retail premises - shop and food and drink premises - to ensure the proposed development can sufficiently integrate with the surrounding character at the ground level, as well as add to the tourist and entertainment offer of the town," the report states.

"The proposed scale and form of the development is compatible with the adjacent Mercato on Byron Shopping Centre."

Another report states five per cent of the building's footprint was above the height limit - and includes an overrun of the lift, the pool deck and the roof over the outdoor bar and recreation area.

With the hefty price tag, the development will automatically come before the Northern Regional Planning Panel (formerly the Joint Regional Planning Panel) for determination.

The development aims to achieve zero emissions.