REVEALED: Plans leaked for two new Coast resorts
TWIN Waters Resort has been offered for sale with a pitch of development potential that would more than double the number of existing holiday apartments.
However that potential may rest on interpretation of key elements of the Maroochy North Shore Local Plan that apply to development in the resort.
Confidential sale information seen by the Sunshine Coast Daily promoted the potential development of an additional two resorts on the 48.6ha site between the Maroochy River and the beach.
Such a proposal may include an additional lagoon resort to the west of the existing Novotel and potentially 40 two-level villas on beach-side lots one and two comprising 1.79ha.
Two previous attempts by Abacus to develop unit complexes in the north east corner of the property have failed.
The first application by the Sydney-based investment and property group was opposed by Sunshine Coast Council.
The council supported the second application which was ultimately defeated by a coalition of residents from the adjoining North Shore Village body corporate.
Does Twin Waters need more accommodation and homes?
This poll ended on 25 May 2018.
Yes, the area should be opened up to more residents and tourists.
No, it's fine the way it is.
I don't think the development would be viable there.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Abacus has subsequently won the right to build a massive multi-use development including the construction of a public car park on land owned by ratepayers in Mooloolaba.
It was widely-reported in September, 2016, that the resort had been sold for $130 million to China's fourth largest airline Hainan National Airlines which is also a shareholder in Virgin.
In 2015 the resort had been valued on the Abacus fund's books at $67.5 million.
By February, 2017, the sale was off.
In response to a series of questions put by the Sunshine Coast Daily, Abacus spokesman Neil Summerfield pointed to July, 2017, advice given to unit holders in Abacus Hospitality Fund that owns the resort.
"In June 2012 Abacus Hospitality Fund security holders approved the Managed Asset Sale strategy for the Fund, noting that this strategy could take some years to fully implement," the advice said.
"Since 2012 Abacus has successfully executed the sale of all properties other than the Twin Waters hotel on the Sunshine Coast. A sales programme (sic) for Twin Waters hotel was undertaken in 2016 and 2017 but, despite extensive due diligence by one party, no sale contract was exchanged.
"Abacus will use its best endeavours to source a suitable buyer for the property when market conditions for this hotel improve. When the property is sold capital will be distributed and the Fund will be wound up."
Sales documents distributed to potential buyers by former agents McVay Real Estate identified a western lot at the Twin Waters Resort comprising of 7.32ha as 'on a standalone basis, the current zoning could facilitate 366 'dwellings''.
McVay Real Estate chair Dan McVay confirmed his company was no longer involved with the sale but said he believed there were interested buyers.
The documents go on to say the owners had investigated 'a number of potential development scenarios for the development of an additional resort and villas which could be operated in conjunction with the existing resort, thus minimising management and any duplication of infrastructure and back of house facilities'.
One such proposal involved development of a luxury 240-room, lagoon-front resort, together with 37 waterfront villas on what was described as surplus land to the west of the existing resort.
It suggests a refurbishment of existing guest accommodation south of the central amenities building, to comprise a separate 190-room resort and a major renovation of the rooms east of the central amenities building, as a 174-room, five-star branded product.
A further 40, two-level beach side villas would be developed to the east.
Town planning advice provided the Sunshine Coast Daily said paragraph (m) of Section 18.104.22.168 of the Local Plan Code made specific reference to the Twin Waters Resort.
The code states: "Development provides for the Twin Waters Resort to be protected as a significant tourist facility. Development on this site respects the environmental and landscape values of the area and maintains the existing configuration of low scale, small clusters of buildings set within extensive park lands and naturally-vegetated areas".
One interpretation of provisions related to maintaining the existing configuration was 'that no further development of low scale, small clusters of buildings was permitted and that the surrounding extensive park lands and naturally vegetated areas should not be compromised by additional development within those areas'.