Leith Group gains approval for $130m debut Gold Coast apartment project

Leith Group gains approval for $130m debut Gold Coast apartment project

Artist's impression of Halcyon Place

Sydney company Leith Group Developments has gained council approval for the company’s first Gold Coast project, a $130 million high rise that will take shape on a site near the Surfers Paradise beachfront.

The company, which earlier this year unveiled a $750 million plan to redevelop the Vegas Hotel site at Mt Druitt with five residential towers, was this week given the green light to proceed with Halcyon Place on the Gold Coast.

Led by veteran developer Michael Devin, Leith Group plans to deliver 96 apartments across 27 levels on a 1,378sqm site at 4 Fern Street in Surfers Paradise. The site occupies a corner position with Old Burleigh Road and is close to the newly opened The Langham Gold Coast in the $1.3 billion Jewel development.

Halcyon Place takes the name of an existing three-storey apartment development on the site that was developed more than 30 years ago.

Targeting the Gold Coast’s strong owner-occupier market, Halcyon Place will comprise a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments contributing to what Leith Group says is a diversity of housing supply in central Surfers Paradise.

Leith Group’s development application notes that Halcyon Place will include apartments that target ‘a lower point’ than the majority of development applications currently being lodged with the Gold Coast council, implying a more affordable entry point for buyers.

Levels 26 and 27 will feature three two-level penthouses while the design also allows for two townhouse apartments on the ground level that will be separate to the main tower. Each penthouse will have its own plunge pool and barbecue area, while the townhouses will also have their own plunge pool.

Halcyon Place will also feature resort-style residents’ amenities on levels 10 and 11 including a gym, sauna, pool, barbecue area and business centre. At the ground level, residents will have access to bicycle parking and surfboard racks, as well as a communal dog park.

The development proposes three levels of basement parking with 101 onsite car parking spaces for residents and 10 visitor parks, which the company says exceeds the minimum requirement within the city’s light rail urban renewal area.

The latest development approval comes on the heels of a number of high-profile developments being shelved on the Gold Coast due to rising construction costs and a shortage of labour. The most recent was Melbourne’s Central Equity which abandoned plans for its $500 million Pacific One development in Surfers Paradise earlier this year.

Leith Group is expecting construction of Halcyon Place to begin in March next year.

“We are appointing Deloitte as our project managers and they are preparing an ECI (early contractor involvement) for us,” says a company spokesman. 

“We chose an ECI rather than go to tender because that allows us to choose a builder and work with the builder through the whole process. Once we achieve the outcome of the construction price we are looking at, then the builder gets appointed immediately.”

The spokesman says the ECI process will deliver certainty for Leith Group and for apartment buyers amid ongoing construction cost pressures in the industry.

“We’re getting a cost plan done by (quantity surveyors) Mitchell Brandtman. In fact, we’ve had four cost plans done in the past six months by them. That’s how up to date we need to be on construction costs on the Gold Coast.”

Leith Group expects to have the final cost plan delivered this week and the company will be talking to three local builders next week before deciding on a contractor for the project.

Meanwhile, Leith Group has achieved first stage concept DA approval for its Mt Druitt urban renewal project which will deliver five 20-storey towers comprising 950 residential apartments and 18 commercial spaces, plus a revamped Vegas Hotel. The first stage comprises 440 apartments.

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