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Spyre Group Lodges Plans for Coolangatta Tower

The Gold Coast’s apartment market is gaining momentum with local developers looking to take advantage of two-decades highs as interstate home-hunters continue to prove a major buying force.

Brisbane-based Spyre Group has returned to the surging market, lodging plans for another boutique beachfront apartment project, this time in Coolangatta.

The development application now takes the developer’s investment on the Gold Coast to $250 million since 2017.

The proposed 4,000sq m residential project will replace the well-known Komune Resort—frequented over recent years by Quicksilver and Roxy professional surfers.

Spyre had originally intended to use the 860sq m site, located at 144 Marine Parade, for a 27-storey development, but have instead opted for a 12-storey Bureau Proberts-designed scheme—to be known as Cala Dei Residences.

“We have significantly reduced the project’s footprint,” Spyre Group director Andrew Malouf said.

“Instead, we propose to create luxury residences that complement the world class surfing reserve status of the southern Gold Coast beaches.”

Coolangatta Tower

▲ Spyre has lodged plans for an apartment project on the site of the well-known Komune Resort at Coolangatta. Image: Supplied

The previously proposed 100-suite hotel, which would also have had 94 apartments, cafes and restaurants overlooking Greenmount Beach, was approved by the council in April 2017.

Two months later neighbours at the Lindor Apartments appealed, taking the decision to the Planning and Environment Court. Council withdrew its support for the 27-storey project in early-2018.

Its revised development will feature 31 apartments, parking spaces for 59 cars and 25 bicycles, as well as a ground floor pool and recreation area, set to be surrounded by subtropical gardens.

The Komune Resort redevelopment is not the first time Spyre Group has chosen to redevelop a site already occupied by an existing multi-level building.

The company recently demolished the eight-storey Aspect apartment building, developed by Mimi McPherson on the Esplanade at Burleigh Heads, to start construction on its 17-storey Natura project.

After spending the better part of a decade focusing on developments in Brisbane, Malouf said the Gold Coast market was shaping up as a long-term proposition for the company.

The development comes as the Gold Coast’s southern markets clock their best performance in two decades, according to Domain’s latest house price report.

Unit prices on the Gold Coast have witnessed a 7.1 per cent hike over the last 12 months, surging by 2.3 per cent in the past three months alone.

Coolangatta Tower

▲ The Komune development has been lodged as Spyre Group nears a sell-out of its existing Gold Coast portfolio. Image: Bureau Proberts

“The challenge always starts with securing the right site,” Malouf said.

“We’ve been fortunate on the Gold Coast over the past few years targeting only the best beachfront sites in each area.

“The market is well supported by locals and increasingly by interstate buyers, and remarkably we see that trend continuing for some time.”

Cala Dei Residences is Spyre Group’s fourth Gold Coast project, following on from its $79 million Elysian Broadbeach tower, $25 million boutique Maya Kirra Beach, and Bureau Proberts-designed Natura development which is on track for completion in December.

Elsewhere in Coolangatta, developer Paul Gedoun has begun construction of his $74 million Flow Residences at Rainbow Bay after securing $70 million in sales over a two month period late last year, and in December filed plans to redevelop the Cafe D-Bah.

Sunland Group had also planned to redevelop the Greenmount Resort site but shelved the project and put the site up for sale.

Meanwhile, Brisbane-based KTQ Group is planning a $380 million redevelopment of the old Kirra Beach Hotel.

To be built over three stages, the redevelopment’s first stage includes a 15-storey tower comprising 118 luxury residences aiming to tap the owner-occupier market.



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Controversial Burleigh Theatre Tower Wins Support


The Gold Coast City Council’s planning committee has voted four-three in favour of new plans for an apartment tower above the old Burleigh theatre and arcade.

Sydney-based developer Weiya Holdings amended the plans after receiving 86 submissions and a petition objecting to the development at 64 Goodin Terrace and 1823 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads.

The new plan, designed by Conrad Gargett, reduced the number of apartments by six to 30 with adjustable screens on the western façade as well as four commercial tenancies, a gym and podium-top pool.

The 14-storey tower will be called the De-Luxe Apartments after the mid-century De Luxe Theatre and Old Burleigh Arcade, which were incorporated into the design.


▲ The front and back of the 14-storey old Burleigh Theatre development by Sydney-based developer Weiya Holdings. 

Council officers said the adaptive reuse included several improvements to the heritage building but finishes and colours used on the theatre would have to be investigated.

“The proposed design retains the majority of the significant fabric at the front of the site,” the officers said.

However they suggested a few minor amendments to the plans including changes to the proposed shopfronts of the beachfront theatre.

Weiya purchased the 1667sq m site for $18.5 million midway through 2019 and lodged plans to develop the site a year later.

The majority of concerns about the application surrounded the heritage building and its lack of reference in the new design, however this was an intentional decision by the developer which was supported by the council.

The proposal is due to go before a full meeting of the council next week.

Meanwhile, the council is currently planning improvements to public space in Burleigh including adding trees, seating, a large mural and festoon lighting along James Street as well as moving pedestrian crossings.


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Dreamworld to build $75 million resort under new agreement


Dreamworld could soon have a $75 million resort and tourist park across the road in Coomera.

The company entered a non-binding agreement on Wednesday with accommodation developer Evolution Group to fund and build the resort on the land owned by the theme park’s parent company Ardent Leisure.

The hotel would include 240 four-star rooms, 40 bungalows and a five-star tourist park with 100 powered sites and restaurants, conference facilities, pools and a gymnasium.

Dreamworld Resort guests would also have offers to access the Dreamworld and WhiteWater World theme parks throughout their stay.

Dreamworld chief executive officer Greg Yong said the arrangement would boost tourism.

“This announcement is another positive step in the recovery of our parks post-COVID and will have a significant economic impact not only for Dreamworld, but also for the northern Gold Coast, one of Australia’s fastest-growing regional corridors,” he said.

“The project will create employment within the local community and contribute to the regeneration of tourism on the Gold Coast.

“The hotel and tourist park will complement Dreamworld as a premium entertainment destination and add a new level of convenience for guests who will have our theme park and water park on their accommodation’s doorstep.”

Queensland theme parks were forced to close in March last year because of the coronavirus pandemic and Dreamworld and WhiteWater World reopened in August, offering discounted tickets in an attempt to attract people in for the September school holidays.

Evolution Group boss John Robinson jnr said he looked forward to collaboratively delivering high-quality accommodation options for guests.

“The Evolution Group team is a family company providing over 2200 rooms around Australia through our resorts and accommodation houses,” he said.

“Having Australia’s favourite theme park on the doorstep of this development will certainly provide guests with action-packed getaways.”

Dreamworld and Evolution Group would work together to obtain planning approvals, while Ardent Leisure would explore options to maximise the value of its surplus land.


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Asking rents soar to record highs in coastal areas


Rents have soared to record levels in many coastal areas in response to shrinking supply and rising demand from tenants moving out of the big cities and into regional and warmer locations.

Asking rents for houses in the Gold Coast have surged 32 percent in the past 12 months to a record high, while units rose 16 per cent

In Port Macquarie, in NSW’s north coast, house rents jumped 19 per cent and units 22 per cent. In Coffs Harbour, house rents climbed 34 per cent and units by 14 per cent.

“I’ve just never seen these large rises before,” said Louis Christopher, SQM Research managing director.

“We thought the migration away from the CBDs would be reversed, but it looks like people continue to seek out bigger spaces in areas offering desirable lifestyles. We now know there won’t be a complete reversal of the trend away from the cities.”

High tenant demand has pushed vacancy rates to record lows in the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Port Macquarie, where it had fallen to 0.8 per cent, 0.9 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively.


The rental markets in the inner cities surrounding CBDs have also tightened as more renters move out from their shared rentals to live on their own, but the number of empty apartments in the Sydney and Melbourne CBDs have jumped higher again because of increasing supply after falling in the previous month.

Sydney’s vacancy rates dropped to 3.1 per cent in April, down from 4 per cent in March while Melbourne fell to 4 per cent from 4.4 per cent.

Vacancy rates in Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin and Hobart remained below 1 per cent while Brisbane’s fell to 1.4 per cent.

Nationwide, the amount of empty rentals has fallen 8.3 per cent, squeezing vacancy rates to 1.9 per cent in April from 2.1 per cent in the previous month.

“The fall in vacancy rates is now encompassing the inner-suburban regions, which I believe is due to the falling number of occupants per dwelling, which is putting pressure on vacancies,” Mr Christopher said.

“The fall in national vacancies is surprising given there has been record first home buyer activity and strong dwelling completions relative to the population.”

The number of empty CBD apartments jumped 17 per cent in Sydney and rose 1 per cent in Melbourne, pushing vacancy rates up to 7.3 per cent and 8.3 per cent respectively.

“This is telling us that there is still a lack of interest in terms of moving back into the CBD,” Mr Christopher said.

“It looks like the vacancy rates are not going back to pre-COVID levels of around 4 per cent in the foreseeable future due to high levels of stock.



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