Fresh from defending rumours that its $1.5 billion La Pelago development on the Gold Coast has stalled, Gurner Group has announced it has secured council approval for a $150 million luxury apartment project at Burleigh Heads.
Gurner, in partnership with MaxCap Group, has received the green light to transform the 1,017sqm site at 1929 Gold Coast Highway into an 18-level boutique project comprising 55 apartments.
Gurner, which also has laid plans for projects in Brisbane and Port Douglas as part of a strategic push into Queensland, says council approval for the Burleigh Heads development affirms its commitment to the local market.
The company, headed by rich lister Tim Gurner, was forced to douse rumours in October that it was refunding deposits for La Pelago – a four-tower development planned for Budds Beach.
The rumours gained ground after it was revealed that SPG Land’s triple-tower Paradiso development across the road was struggling to deliver the project on existing contracts with apartment buyers.
However, Gurner has since revealed it is having trouble finding a builder for La Pelago’s first tower, which is set to deliver Australia’s first St Regis hotel, despite having secured $350 million in pre-sales for the development.
Rising costs for the construction sector are reflected in the end value of the Burleigh Heads development, which Gurner announced in February last year would total $120 million. With the joint-venture partners currently valuing the development at $150 million, the project's end value is now up 25 per cent on that figure.
Despite the challenges, Gurner and MaxCap have highlighted their ‘formidable track record’ of more than 20 joint-venture projects valued at more than $1.5 billion over the past decade.
Following Gold Coast council approval, the partners plan to launch the $150 million Burleigh Heads project next year.
“Queensland is a really key strategic market for us, in particular Gold Coast and Port Douglas, so we are excited to be launching our second Gold Coast development next year off the back of the permit approval,” says Gurner’s chief development officer Robert Clarke.
“We are watching the market closely and think Gold Coast is at the precipice of another strong market run given the underlying fundamentals of huge international and national migration coupled with the significant under supply of quality apartments in the area.
“We know that Queensland is under immense pressure from unprecedented cost escalation but we are confident in our relationships with our trusted builder partners that we can find an outcome that works for the market and our clients.”
Clarke reiterates Gurner’s opinion that Burleigh Heads is one of the ‘hottest locations in Australia’.
“We are very excited to stamp our signature on it,” he says.
Gurner’s other major Queensland project is planning to deliver Australia’s first mainland underwater hotel rooms as part of an ultra-luxury wellness resort at Port Douglas.
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