Tom and Emma Lane, the couple behind Byron Bay’s The Farm, are putting their boutique coastal venue The Beach House East Coast on the market.
The Lanes bought the property at 70 Shelly Beach Rd, East Ballina, which backs on to the picturesque Angels and Shelly beaches, in 2017 for $3m.
While still at the helm of The Farm, the couple embarked on a renovation of the Beach House, transforming what was once a facility for Christian retreats into an eco-conscious event space aimed at raising coastal awareness, while allowing guests to “connect to nature, create community and collectively give back”.
“I remember when we first went to look at it,” said Mr Lane, who is the son of Oroton founder Boyd Lane.
“You went down this little driveway and it opened up to be this diamond in the rough. It was rundown and neglected but an amazing block of land looking directly north up the beach. We just new straight away that we had to do something with it,” Mr Lane said.
Using the existing structures which include a main residence, old school bunk houses, shower blocks and a large communal meeting house, the Lanes revamped the existing buildings, giving them a Australian-European coastal look, to create a venue able to host up to 250 people for conferences, retreats and special events.
The bespoke accommodation set on a two-acre site has 12 chic rooms, with five-star-rated beds, that in total sleep up to 24 guests, alongside a designer bathhouse where original sinks have been re-enamelled in a nostalgic touch.
There is also a three-bedroom main residence, with a front reception, office, kitchen, bathroom, a private courtyard and carport.
A central barn invites living, dining and entertaining on a grand scale with a fully-equipped kitchen and a bar.
“We spent a fair bit of time developing it bit by bit. There are a lot of hand-made items and we try and use recycled materials and local craftsmen where possible,” Mrs Lane said.
The profile of the Northern Rivers region has exploded in recent years thanks to a steady stream of Hollywood actors and A-lister celebrities visiting and buying property in the area.
Kollosche commercial agent Adam Grbcic, who is marketing the Beach House alongside residential agents Matthew Skene and Troy Dowker, said he had been inundated with calls since the listing went live.
“I’ve been absolutely smashed and it has not even been 24 hours,” he said.
“I’ve had more than 33 phone calls already, with the majority of inquiries coming from locals or south-east Queensland buyers. There has been some interstate interest from companies such as micro-breweries and wellness centres, as well as private individuals wanting to run the business as is.”
The potential for the site is broad, with the only council restrictions being that development cannot include high density building or permanent units.
“It is a super unique offering because of its location and accessibility to the beach,” Mr Grbcic said. “It has scope to appeal to different markets but lends itself to something to do with wellness.”
Expressions of interest close at 4pm on June 10, and while Mr Grbcic would not speculate on the price it could achieve, he said the current level of interest meant it would definitely be sold by the end of the EOI period.
The Lanes received huge interest in The Farm when they listed it for sale last year, drawing inquiries from as far afield as the US and Italy.
Agents at the time lauded that it would sell for well over $20m and despite some reports of a $16m sale, RP Data records show the deal done was for a more modest $10.5m.
It was sold to friends of the Lanes, Allyson and Fraser Short of the Sydney Collective, who were keen on carrying on their sustainable farming legacy.
The Lanes, meanwhile, have already moved on to their next venture, which they plan to be a little more low-key.
In a return to an agricultural focus, they are creating a collection of properties based in the Northern Rivers that offer sustainable rural experiences, such as an equine estate and a working macadamia farm.
“It will be like The Farm in a way, but on a more intimate level,” Mr Lane said.