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Wingate Strikes Developer Deal on Failed Ralan Site

Developer Tim Gurner is sounding out plans for a hotel and up to 600 apartments on the site of Ralan Group’s failed Sapphire Project at Budds Beach.

The $600 million Surfers Paradise project, Gurner’s first on the Gold Coast, will be located on a 1.3-hectare site at 112 Ferny Avenue.

The site, bordered by the Ferny, Norfolk, Pine, Oak Avenues, had originally been earmarked for Ralan’s approved twin-tower development until the Sydney-based developer collapsed in July 2019 with debts of more than $560 million.

Ralan, led by director William O’Dwyer, purchased the supersite in 2015 for just under $20 million through Melbourne-based finance and investment house Wingate, a partnership that had been established in 2010.

The non-bank lender and its high-net-worth investor base had the largest exposure of any creditor to the developer through senior and mezzanine debt funding.

Prior to the company’s collapse, Ralan had sold half of the project’s 1,000 apartments and collected $71.3 million in deposits, of which almost all were released by investors as unsecured loans.

In 2019, Wingate was forced to appoint Deloitte as receivers and managers of Ralan Budds Beach No 1 Pty Ltd, the entity which owns the site and which entered into contracts with purchasers for the suspended Sapphire project.

Wingate will now partner with Gurner, after the site was sold through Knight Frank, on a completely redesigned project.

“The partnership with Wingate is a 50-50 joint venture—allowing us to closely collaborate on all facets of the project,” Gurner told The Urban Developer.


▲ Ralan’s neighbouring Surfers Paradise project, Ruby, was acquired by hotelier Jerry Schwartz in late 2019. Image: Supplied

The project is expected to launch towards the end of the year, following a 12-week national design competition with Gurner expecting to submit plans for the site in May.

“We have already commenced the design competition with leading architects from Australia and across the globe, allowing us to carefully select the firm we believe will best execute the level of luxury this project demands,” Gurner said.

The project will mark Gurner’s second large-scale Queensland development following its $500 million, 1,000 apartment FV project in Fortitude Valley in 2019.

The developer also has plans for a boutique hotel and luxury residences project in Port Douglas and is eyeing potential sites for the rollout of its boutique hotel brand, Club Maison.

Gurner said the move coincided with his belief that the Gold Coast is about to have its largest market run in history.

“We have been looking at the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast for a considerable amount of time, but we wanted to find a site that would allow us to do something really special

“The Gold Coast property market has witnessed strong price growth through 2020 with some pockets experiencing growth of over 10 percent year-on-year, fuelled in part by the growing ‘sea change’ demand following the pandemic.

“This trend has been mirrored across the rental market with Gold Coast’s vacancy rates falling below one percent, with little existing supply to meet the ever-growing demand,” Gurner said.

Over recent months the Gold Coast has led a modest rebound in the new apartment market, with higher off-the-plan sales rates and tight stock conditions equipping the coastal city with better prospects than Sydney and Melbourne.

The city has also experienced a resurgence in development applications, with a number of projects lodged in recent weeks.


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Hirsch & Faigen launch Hemingway, Palm Beach apartments

Palm Beach

Prices will range from $450,000 to $2 million in the Palm Beach residential project which will comprise 78 apartments over 14 levels.

The Melbourne-based national developer Hirsch & Faigen have officially launched Hemingway, their first apartment development on the Gold Coast.

Prices will range from $450,000 to $2 million in the Palm Beach residential project which will comprise 78 apartments over 14 levels. The penthouse is priced at $4 million.

Rothelowman has designed the tower which has been described as a multi-storey reimagining of the area’s humble holiday shacks from the late 1950s and 1960s.

Named after the famous author Ernest Hemingway, Hemingway is located at 1267-1273 Gold Coast Highway and will front the exclusive Jefferson Lane beachfront enclave.

Palm Beach

Hemingway 1267-1273 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach QLD 4221 

Matt George, Hirsch & Faigen’s head of sales and marketing, said they were determined to push the bounds of architectural design to pay homage to the charming beach shacks while exuding contemporary design excellence.

“We went above and beyond to make it feel as though each apartment was its own full scale beach house, just mere metres away from the water’s edge while boasting those luxury finishes that makes the home feel like an indulgent retreat,” George said.

Residents of Hemingway will have access to a range of lifestyle amenities including its own ground-level café and communal open space with a swimming pool, pool lounge, barbeque area and outdoor cinema.

Prior to its launch, Hemingway had already garnered a substantial level of attention from local owner occupiers and downsizers pursuing the quintessential coastal dream with a luxurious upgrade.

The Rothelowman team reimagined the standard bulky apartment block into an innovative shape form that utilises curvature and cut outs to maximise and enhance views from every Hemingway apartment.

“Rothelowman are highly recognised across Australia for their innovative approach to creating landmark structures, and Hemingway was no different. They poured a lot of thought ninto how Hemingway could meld seamlessly into its Palm Beach surrounds while simultaneously enhancing and improving the area,” George said.

“It was important to us to take a design-led approach to encompass the phenomenal ocean views the Gold Coast is famous for, presented in what we like to think of as a beach house hoisted into the sky,”

The Hemingway project is the first development venture on the Gold Coast by Hirsch & Faigen, which has a number of property interests in Queensland and a national portfolio of projects completed over the past decade with a value of more than $1 billion.


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Vistas St Lucia apartments popular with first home buyers as construction finishes

The development has been a hit with first home buyers so far, who have been taking advantage of the one-bedroom apartments

The construction of Barber Property Group has finished the construction of Vistas St Lucia, its newest apartment development in the leafy Brisbane suburb.

And the development of 32 apartments has been a hit with first home buyers so far, who have been taking advantage of Vistas one-bedroom apartments, the first one-bedroom apartments built in the suburb for five years.

The rest of the apartment sales so far has been to investors who are looking to leverage the prominent student rental market given Vistas proximity to the University of Queensland.

 home buyers

Vistas St Lucia 9 Austral Street, St Lucia QLD 4067 

Barber have a solid case study in the area, having completed Eton, a boutique development of just nine apartments, nearby. Investors are now seeing seven per cent rental yields.

“The numbers stack up very well for investors looking to capitalise on St Lucia’s unique market, as it benefits from a range of buyer types at different stages of their lives,” Barber Property Group boss Paul Barber says.

“Although the student market has sat dormant for the last 12-months, with the current roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine, interest is picking up, so we anticipate a rush of international students at the end of the year, ahead of the first semester in 2022.

“Still, with many international students out of the equation, demand in St Lucia’s has remained high with recent occupancy rates as low as 1.7 per cent.”

Raymond Barber Architects, in collaboration with CG Design Studio, designed the apartments with earthy colour palettes and natural timbers that integrate with the St Lucia aspect.

There are nine one-bedroom apartments, 14 two-bedroom apartments and nine three-bedroom apartments, as well as communal facilities including a large open-air terrace and BBQ area with city views.

Barber said the company anticipates strong demand for Vistas St Lucia, as the area’s lifestyle factors play a big drawcard, with the proximity to the city and river, abundance of cafes and restaurants, and quintessential ‘Queensland feel’ high on buyers’ wish lists.

“Prior to completion, approx. 40 per cent of the luxury apartments had sold, really reiterating the market’s desire for new inner-city stock,” Barber said.

“We’re noticing a resurgence in demand for one-bedroom apartments, with a mix of downsizers and young professionals wanting to get into the inner-city suburbs, as well as demand continuing for larger two and three-bedroom properties.


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Amenities watch: What’s on offer at Chevron One?

Chevron One

Chevron One offers residents holiday-style living year-round, with 2000 sqm of resort-style amenities

Bensons Property Group’s Chevron One offers residents holiday-style living year-round, with close to 2000 sqm of resort-style amenities.

Designed by Marchese Partners, the project includes a Club One residents’ lounge, floating cinema, dining facilities and sculpted gardens.

As Chevron Island’s first luxury tower, the development has a 24-hour concierge service and 360-degree uninterrupted views that will never be built out.

Chevron One

Chevron One 36-44 Stanhill Drive, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217

The on-site luxury amenities also include a private dining facilities, a library, multiple swimming pools, a sculpture garden and more.

Situated on Stanhill Drive, Chevron One is within walking distance to Thomas Drive cafes and retail shops, Home Of The Arts precinct, and the beach.

Chevron One Residences offer a fully furnished, fully managed and hassle-free ‘turnkey’ lifestyle investment.

Interstate investors in particular will be keen on the 14 day free days of holiday accommodation per year for their apartment.

Developer Bensons Property Group are offering a range of incentives for investors in the 41 level tower designed in collaboration with Marchese Partners and Byrns Lardner Landscape Architecture.

The entry price to Chevron One is as low as $480,000 for a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment. A two bedroom, two bathroom apartment with parking is priced from $705,000.

Estimated completion of Chevron One is late 2023. To secure your new home in the sought after development, request a call from a Chevron One sales agent via Urban.


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