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Bob Ell’s Cobaki land could double in value by 2024 as demand for house lots far outstrips supply

The Cobaki land, on which billionaire Bob Ell already has spent big sums on earthworks, is destined to have 5500 homes.














BOB Ell, who’s made a billion out of property, well could be called Box Seat Bob in the wake of the latest planning tome.

Canny Bob is sitting on thousands of blocks of land, potentially worth billions of dollars, at a time when all indications are that the Gold Coast is in for migraine-like supply headaches.

The 192-page 2017 Shaping SEQ report predicts the Gold Coast will need more than 158,000 new houses, high-rise apartments, units, and townhouses by 2041, with more than 30,000 of those freestanding homes.

Coomera, Upper Coomera and Pimpama (which the Housing Industry Association has labelled the nation’s No. 1 population-growth hotspot) are identified as the major areas into which the city can expand its supply of house lots.

It seems the Leda camp has deduced that there’ll be no land left in those areas in seven years, with some of the land in the so-called urban footprint in those suburbs unable to be developed because of factors like flood concerns and koala corridors.

It also believes that, at a very optimistic best, only 15,000 detached houses could be built in the city’s entire existing urban footprint.

With few other options for supply, the Leda view is that going south for sites for freestanding homes might be the only choice.

Bob’s boffins also have worked out that by 2024 prices for housing lots could well have doubled.

They should know — lots in investor-driven Leda estates at Pimpama have been going up by $2000 a month for the past four years.

If that appreciation rate persists, a lot that cost $200,000 in 2013 and today sells for nearly $300,000 could cost been approaching $600,000 or so by 2024.

The bottom line is that Bob appears to be sitting pretty for years to come.

His Cobaki estate, a sprawling holding that he bought in 1994 and which sits behind the Gold Coast airport but actually is in NSW, is approved for 5500 lots.

At today’s Pimpama prices, those lots would be worth $1.65 billion but that figure’s a major understatement.

The Cobaki land is high, largely flat and overlooks the ocean and by the time it hits the market later next year the owner-occupier blocks are likely to start well north of $400,000, if not $500,000.

That reflects that lots sitting below Cobaki, at Tugun and Bilinga, are starting today at around $500,000.

Further south, behind Casuarina in northern NSW, Bob owns the giant Kings Forest holding which is approved for 4500 lots.

An agent who has flagged a possible 2018 release of Kings Forest land already has more than 500 people on a buyer waiting list.

Meanwhile, Box Seat Bob, who’s spent tens of millions on earthworks on his two trophy assets, apparently is getting plenty of knocks on the door from major players with big chequebooks who

want all or part of Cobaki. So far, the Ell fish hasn’t bitten.

Tony Quinn in his Aston Martin Vulcan, a car limited to 24 in the world. 

TONY Quinn, a Sanctuary Cove resident who made a meaty profit on VIP Petfoods, could be on the verge of achieving a very sweet ‘earn’ out of Darrell Lea chocolates.

Would-be buyers are running a ruler over Darrell Lea, bought from receivers for $25 million in 2012 and revived with the help of $30 million in Quinn money.

There are suggestions the Quinn camp, which sold VIP for $410 million prior to the chocolate foray, could get well north of $200 million for the business.

SOVEREIGN Islands mansion owner Wenxing Ma might have a competitor on his doorstep should he go ahead with plans for Broadbeach’s tallest building.

Wenxing, who has spent $8 million on a Mary Ave site, has mooted a 94-level apartment tower, a plan which hasn’t been greeted with great enthusiasm by city council officers.

Now it appears another party is busy trying to amalgamate a site on Wenxing’s Mary Ave boundary and also to add a Surf Pde property into the equation.

GEOFF Booth, a developer who was battered by the GFC, appears to be making a high-octane comeback.

He’s being linked to the $750,000 purchase of a slab of Merrimac land from the German Club on which a servo is being built.

Geoff and partner Graham Spottiswood built the $60 million Pavilions community at Biggera Waters in 2005, only later to fall out, and both ultimately were bankrupted.


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New apartment developments pop up in prime locations in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast

apartment developments

Location is everything for these luxurious new developments, whether overlooking the Brisbane River or a stone’s throw from glamorous Surfers Paradise.

Buyers in the market for an apartment well may be spoiled for choice.

Boutique Chevron Island

Even if you’re not a Gold Coast local, you’ve probably heard of Surfers Paradise, famous for its glitz and glamour.

You’re perhaps less likely, however, to be familiar with Chevron Island, an exclusive and slower-paced urban island in the very same neighbourhood.

This boutique development offers 42 luxury apartments on the north-east corner of the island, surrounded by the Nerang River.

The 14-storey building, designed by award-winning BDA Architects, hosts several floor plan options, from two-bedroom homes to four-bedroom penthouses.

The majority of apartments available in the project are two and three-bedroom stock, starting from $499,000.

The development will be home to several high-end amenities, including a pool and spa, gym, rooftop yoga centre, residents’ lounge, barbecue facilities, zen garden and a specialised co-working space.

CEO of Draycon Building Howard Dabit said the project’s design had been responsive to lifestyle changes brought about by the pandemic.

“What we’ve done, which makes this building very unique compared to a lot of the others that are being built at the Gold Coast at the moment, is we adopted the co-work space environment, right from day one,” he said.

“A lot of people are saying because of covid, they want to work from home, they feel more comfortable, and it’s giving them a lot more flexibility.”

The communal space will feature free internet, meeting booths, lounges, a kitchenette, and an array of snacks and drinks. Residents will also have the option to work outside, and to socialise within the space.

Interiors will feature sound-insulated timber floors, European appliances and for those on upper floors, the option to customise elements of the kitchen and butler’s pantry.

Mr Dabit said the superior quality of the project was aided by the fact Draycon was both builder and developer.

“The ideology of the building is the same, you don’t have the developer thinking one way and the builder trying to lessen the quality to ensure that he can make a bigger profit,” he said.

“Because we’re one, we get to integrate that and make it so that we’re happy with the profit levels that we’re making, and we want to provide the quality for the end user, and that’s the advantage of having a builder/developer in such a project.”

The project has begun construction, and is set to be completed about July 2022.

Brookfield Gallery House

apartment developments

Gallery House, 7-11 Wharf Street, Hamilton Photo: Supplied

This riverside development in the blue-chip Brisbane suburb of Hamilton is selling fast, with more than 90 per cent of apartments sold across the two towers.

With both stages completed last year, Gallery House offers 300 apartments, including one to four-bedroom homes, skyhomes and penthouses.

Many of the homes are afforded sweeping views of the Brisbane River, with others facing north to overlook the city’s inner suburbs.

Remaining on the market is a small cross-section of apartments on offer, starting from $387,000 for a two-bedroom unit and from $2,295,000 for penthouses.

Managing director of TOTAL Property Group Adrian Parsons said the development had attracted strong interest from local Brisbane residents.

“We’ve found that the development has been in very high demand since June, where people have either been buying their first home from our one and two-bedroom range, or people have been downsizing from larger homes into a prime riverfront two, three or four-bedroom apartment,” he said.

“People really just love the aspect of living on the river, and the location at Portside Wharf with the recent completion of the Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade makes accessibility from Portside into the city more convenient.

“With the River Walk that has been established, it’s added a new lifestyle element to living in the precinct.”

Mr Parsons said the apartments’ oversized design was perfect for the downsizer market.

“I think one of the main things when people are looking at downsizing from a house is they’re worried that they’re going to compromise too much by moving into an apartment in terms of space, so when these apartments were designed, it was clearly understood who the target market would be,” he said.

“Whether they’re a three-bedroom or a four-bedroom, they’ve got really large living areas, lots of open wide living areas that front onto the river, also with large balconies.

“Not only do the apartments have generous storage inside, but buyers can also buy basement storage areas for other things they may want to store.”

Market Lane

Located in the new CBD in Maroochydore, this Sunshine Coast development will offer 146 apartments in two towers.

Buyers will have the choice of two and three-bedroom configurations, along with a limited selection of penthouses, each offering sought-after views of the coastline and picturesque hinterland.

The development also encompasses six small office terraces, as well as retail and dining.

Embedded within the brand new City Centre precinct, the project is set to enjoy all the perks and amenity of the budding development hub, affording it a 90/100 walk score.

It is situated directly opposite the new town square and a two-hectare park, part of a sizeable chunk of the CBD site earmarked for open space.

Designed with investors and developers in mind, the mixed-use precinct will feature smart technology throughout, including technology-assisted parking, real-time public transport and community updates, wifi hotspots, safety systems and electric car charging stations.

Some 40 per cent of the 53-hectare site will be kept as open space, and waterways will be integrated throughout.

Market Lane itself will offer 450 square metres of ground floor retail and dining, along with a rooftop terrace on one of the towers, replete with an entertaining area and private dining room.

Other amenities available to residents will include a 25-metre resort-style pool and barbecue leisure space in the centre of the development.

The towers will also feature secure access, lifts, an above-ground car park, CCTV, and an on-site facilities manager.


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‘Significant Redesign’ of Triple Tower Portside Project

Triple Tower Portside

Wentworth Equities is planning to build a triple tower development connecting to Portside Hamilton, undertaking a significant redesign on the vacant site.

The first stage of the Platinum development features a 153-unit residential tower with multiple “sky gardens” to service 53 two-bedroom, 49 three-bedroom and 51 four-bedroom apartments at 19 Hercules Street, Hamilton.

The 29-storey tower also includes ground floor retail spaces, five-levels of basement parking and concept approval for two other towers which will have apartments, shops, offices, indoor entertainment and medical spaces.

This compares to the 2014 approved plans, the $650 million Icon project featuring four towers up to 34-storeys on the site connected by air bridges, housing 567 apartments, a 227-room hotel, civic plaza, restaurants, conference spaces and childcare facilities.

Triple Tower Portside

▲ The 2014 design for the Icon development on the vacant Hamilton site is very different from the 2020-2021 plans.

Wentworth Equities purchased the 7,637sq m site in 2014 for $19.8 million before submitting the applications.

“The current development proposal involves a significant redesign of the previous scheme to improve the architectural quality of the development and ensure the development delivers design excellence and outcomes that are in the communities interest,” the development application said.

“In comparison to the previous scheme, the proposal will effectively reduce the building height, deliver some quantum of units, provide fewer retail and no hotel accommodation is proposed.”

Triple Tower Portside

▲ The new development from Wentworth Equities called Platinum features a series of gardens incorporate into tower one of the apartment building.

The new towers designed by Sydney-based Fuse Architecture have a more subtropical feel and “shift in mindset from apartment living to sky home living” and are created for professionals with young families or downsizers.

The Northshore Hamilton precinct located between the Brisbane CBD and Gateway Motorway bridge has undergone significant redevelopment in the past decade, particularly around the cruise terminal.


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Developer Lodges Plans for Synagogue Skyscraper

Synagogue Skyscraper

Melbourne developer John Kaias has lodged plans to build a 45-level commercial tower above a synagogue in central Brisbane.

The developer struck a deal with the The Brisbane Hebrew Congregation to knock down a hall owned by the congregation and commercial spaces owned by Bellevue Terrace Properties and construct a 207-metre-high tower at 25 Mary Street in Brisbane’s CBD.

Kaias is the director of Bellevue Tce Properties and is the son of family owned Abcor Proprietary Limited which is a Melbourne based engineering company which has had a number of developments in Brisbane.

The tower will sit behind the 135-year-old synagogue on 98 Margaret Street and create a pedestrian link between the buildings.

The congregation were in talks with the developer for more than a year on 2,736sq m site which combines three land parcels before finalising a deal.

Synagogue Skyscraper

The tower will located behind Brisbane Synagogue with a pedestrian link between Mary and Margaret streets in Brisbane City.

The BVN-designed skyscraper features a five-storey podium to house the congregation’s activities with offices, function space, six units, a café, kosher kitchen and indoor kids recreation space.

According to the application a key component of the proposed redevelopment is the integration of the state heritage-listed synagogue into the development.

“The design of the proposal places a significant focus on the original setting of the existing heritage building and seeks to provide a cohesive and beneficial outcome for the future use of the place of worship,” the application said.

The upper floors of the building will be used for tenant event spaces while the top two levels will accommodate a large, luxury penthouse.

The remainder of the floors from six to 42 will have “semi-public co-working” spaces divided by three landscaped terraces.

On the ground floor will be the cross block link that runs through the tower and flexible retail kiosk spaces above three basement levels 242 car park spaces.

Synagogue Skyscraper

▲ The Brisbane Synagogue has neo-Romanesque and neo-Byzantine architectural styles as well as a large rose window.

This pedestrian link will provide further vantage points around the masonry Brisbane Synagogue.

It was constructed in 1885-86 and was the first purpose built place of worship for The Brisbane Hebrew Congregation founded 20 years earlier.


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