CONSTRUCTION for the new Byron Bay shopping and entertainment complex Mercato is still on track to commence early next year, despite a change in the project's majority investor.
Wingate has just acquired a 75% stake in the $70 million retail development for its investors in the recently established Wingate Byron Property Trust.
The Mercato on Byron project is a joint venture between Wingate and Azzura International Constructions.
Wingate's managing director of property Mark Harrison said the opportunity to work with an experienced local developer was attractive to Wingate.
"Mercato on Byron is the first commercial development of its kind to be approved in Byron Bay in many years, and there's strong demand for quality retail space," he said.
Mr Harrison said the building's green features such as electric vehicle charging facilities, grey water systems, bicycle parking and solar panels would help it stand out.
"Sustainable buildings are in high demand by tenants and are increasingly valued by customers," he said.
The Jonson St development will include high quality restaurants, a refurbished nine screen cinema and bowling alleys as well as a 324 space undercover car park which will be free to the public for the first two hours.
The development will also include a 5 Star Green Star Rating, a gallery on level 1 and retail spaces.
Herbert Smith Freehills lawyers advised the investment, describing it as an "unprecedented development approval" for Byron Bay.
"We were very pleased to assist Wingate acquire for its investors a majority stake in what will be a cutting edge dining and entertainment precinct," partner David Sinn said.
Construction company Azzura Corporation International has announced demolition of shops in Byron Bay's Woolworths Plaza will begin next week.
Among the tenants, apart from Woolies, would be Palace Cinemas, which runs the existing cinema complex and will take over the new nine-screen facility, award-winning Lennox Head photographer Craig Parry, who was expected to open a gallery, and a second Fresh cafe.