Raes Expands Reach into Byron Luxury Market

Iconic Byron brand Raes on Wategos is taking its sophisticated offering to Byron as it teams up with Podia to create The Bonobo.

Formerly named The Barbotine, the hotel-style apartments offer spacious living with the convenience and services of a 5-star hotel in the low-rise Richards and Spence-designed brutalist development.

Developer Podia in a joint venture with Centennial Property Group won approval for the sculptural landmark this year, which is slated for completion in mid-2024.

Podia acquired the 4248sq m premium 116-118 Johnson Street site in 2021 for $18.55 million and successfully navigated planning for a three-storey 41-apartment development.

Raes managing director Jordy Catalano said they would be making a few tweaks to the project to align it with the exclusive brand.

Catalano said it was a good opportunity to expand their offering into the under-served luxury market at Byron Bay proper.

“It’s going to be a bigger pared back Raes. A lot of the values ​​of Raes will carry through, but The Bonobo will have a sort of playfulness to it,” Catalano said.

▲ Raes will bring its understated luxury services to a new hotel-style development in the heart of Byron in a deal inked with developer Podia.

Catalano said he expected The Bonobo by Raes would attract similar clientele to its famous Wategos Beach precinct and its luxury superyacht Sea Raes, which was out on the Sydney Harbor this week.

The 41 two, three and four-bedroom hotel-apartments have been designed as a part-time coastal retreat and a short-term rental when owners are not in residence.

Podia director Michael Grassi said Antony and Jordy Catalano had been “on-board from our first conversations”.

“They immediately saw the potential of the luxury hotel-apartment concept and the value the Raes brand could bring to it,” Grassi said.

“Raes is synonymous with Byron’s unique coastal vibe, and their culinary and wellness offering is world-class.

“The partnership will not only enhance value for those who invest in The Bonobo, but also deliver a vibrant new precinct on Johnson Street for Byron locals and visitors.”

The precinct includes 750sq m of retail space on the ground floor and Catalano said they were developing a restaurant and dining concept for the ground plane.

Podia is also working on an apartment development in Neutral Bay, its second for the blue-chip suburb.


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