An iconic backpacker hostel in Sydney’s prime suburb of Bondi has come on the market, with the zoning of the site adding redevelopment potential to the mix.
Noah’s Backpackers, a 260-bed hostel, along with a ground-floor store and adjoining building, has been listed with expressions of interest closing in four weeks.
The 1100m² merged corner site, next to Hunters Park, faces the southern end of Bondi Beach.
It is zoned for mixed-use, medium-density development, but will likely be considered by a number of local residential developers looking to turn the iconic hostel into a boutique apartment building.
The list is managed by Miron Solomons, Matt Pontey and Henry Burke of Colliers International, together with Daniel Marano and Ralph Garofano of Oxford Agency.
The Colliers team declined to provide a price estimate to The Urban Developer.
▲ The property is at the entrance to Bondi Beach, around the corner from Campbell Parade overlooking the world famous beach. Image: Close to the map
Solomons said the site represented the biggest development opportunity identified in Sydney’s eastern suburbs over the past decade.
“[This property] occupies such an iconic gateway position and we will undoubtedly generate local, interstate and international interest in this Bondi icon,” said Solomons.
“There’s been a lot of talk lately about the achievements of off-plan sales in Sydney’s CBD and nearby Double Bay where they’re breaking new records of over $100,000 per square metre.”
The hostel was listed by a Sydney-based family with similar hotel assets around the world.
The owner’s decision to sell comes at an opportune time with the potential for Noah’s to either be retained and built upon as international visitors return to the country, or redeveloped.
“It’s only a matter of time before the right development is delivered to Bondi Beach, which will achieve these exceptionally high revenues in a market that arguably has better amenities and a better lifestyle,” Pontey said. .
Noah’s, which describes itself as Bondi Beach’s ‘largest backpacker accommodation‘, was hit by a number of Covid-19 outbreaks last year, forcing police to cordon off the site twice.
Unsurprisingly, the backpacker and hostel industry has been one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic.
The two-year border closure resulted in a drastic 99% reduction in backpacker arrivals after the borders were closed in early 2020.
According to Home Office figures, nearly 35,000 working holiday visas have been granted since November.
Despite an increase in the number of holidaymakers returning to Australia, the vast majority of backpackers have yet to arrive, prolonging labor shortages in sectors such as hospitality, agriculture and tourism .