24 May 2019

$250m hotel plan lodged to change the face of Mooloolaba


A $250 million plan to change the face of Mooloolaba has been officially submitted for approval.

Aria Property Group has today submitted its vision for an international-standard, five-star hotel and residential development opposite the Mooloolaba Surf Club.

The 14-storey development is expected to cost $130 million just in construction.

The proposal at 1 The Esplanade is to establish a 139-room international hotel and 66 residential apartments.

A public rooftop with bar and restaurant, VIP section and a pool with sweeping ocean views for guests to enjoy have all been proposed.

Each apartment has a balcony, while an open-space column, a "void" will sweep up the centre of the development, filtering fresh air through the new development.

Planting and greenery will be established on a number of levels of the development, while the ground floor and lower level will feature a number of publicly-accessible facilities.

The ground floor will have a mix of retail, food and beverage options, while there will also be a hotel bar and signature restaurant.

In total, 1764sq m of retail and restaurants had been proposed as part of the project which was made to spread across a ground floor, 13 levels and public rooftop.

The proposed development also included a day spa and a 590sq m ballroom with ocean views.

The residential mix proposed included four penthouses, four sub-penthouses, 47 two-bedroom apartments and 10 three-bedroom apartments.

A total of 220 carparks have also been proposed as part of the application, which was formally lodged on Friday.

Level 1 and the ground floor had an average site cover of 82.75 per cent, while the upper levels had an average site cover of 65.64 per cent.

The site was purchased by Rod Forrester back in 1991 and the lodgement of the application marked a 28-year journey to redevelop the site.

The 2588sq m site had been subject to a previous application by Aria, which was rejected by council in 2009.

Progress stalled again in 2016, when Aria requested council defer a decision on its proposed then-$200 million development after agreement could not be struck over a proposed sub-surface public carpark.

Submissions made on the proposal in support of the project had heavily outweighed opposition.

The latest $250 million proposal by Aria, which marked its most significant project to-date, was a code-assessable application.

A planning scheme amendment adopted by council in August, 2017, allowing the maximum height on the site to increase from 37.5m to 50m above sea level, provided a five-star international hotel was included, paved the way for the latest proposal.

Aria's residential development manager Michael Hurley said the lodging of the application was a significant milestone.

He said inspiration for the public rooftop facilities had been inspired by the world-famous Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Mr Hurley said the project would be the largest taken on by the firm, the closest in scale being a $200 million project currently under way in South Brisbane.

Central to the developer's vision to transform Mooloolaba Esplanade was the desire to bring world-class retail in as part of the project.

"This is a unique opportunity to establish Mooloolaba as one of Queensland's premier dining and retail precincts," Mr Hurley said.

"We have the demonstrated ability to bring international standard retailers to our projects.

"Discussions are already well advanced with some of Australia's leading restaurateurs to anchor what will become an iconic project for the Sunshine Coast."

Mr Hurley pointed to Aria's work in 2010 in establishing Edward St in Brisbane as a luxury precinct, with brands such as Hermes, Mont Blanc, Rolex and more.

He also noted their work creating dining and arts precinct Fish Lane, in South Brisbane, which boasted award-winning restaurants like Julius Pizzeria, Gauge, La Lune, Chu the Phat and Billykart.

"We're very, very excited," Mr Hurley said.

"The stars could be aligning for Mooloolaba.

"It'll help put Mooloolaba on the scene as an international, world-class destination."

Mr Hurley spoke of the importance of council's Placemaking Mooloolaba plans to transform the foreshore and said they were fully supportive of council's vision.

Urbis found Aria's $250 million proposal would create 1000 direct and indirect jobs during construction and 271 jobs upon completion.

Aria was recognised by the Urban Development Institute of Australia as having developed the best high-rise residential development in Australia in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

SOURCE ; https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/regional/250m-hotel-plan-lodged-to-change-the-face-of-mooloolaba/news-story/9654c656a86ba0b657dde9c85955a110

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