RAY GROUP TARGETS ROCKY WITH TRAVEL FORMULA

RAY GROUP TARGETS ROCKY WITH TRAVEL FORMULA

RAY Group appears to be finding a new niche in property development with plans to replicate in Rockhampton the success of a travel centre project completed at Loganlea.

The Gold Coast-based property group, best known for its development of Salt Village at Kingscliff, says it will start work this week on the new Puma Energy travel centre in Rockhampton's northern suburbs.

The development comprises fuel and food convenience for motorists and builds on a successful partnership Ray Group has developed with Puma at Loganlea.

The new travel centre at Berserker is due for completion in November and will be operated under a long-term lease by Puma Energy, Australia's largest independent fuel supplier. 

Ray Group executive director Jack Ray says the travel centre would be the most modern fuel and food stop north of the Fitzroy River, fronting Queen Elizabeth Drive which boasts a traffic volume of about 30,000 cars per day.

Ray says the hunt is on for a food and beverage operator to take up space in the development.

Ray says the Rockhampton City Council is supporting the project through a fast-tracked approvals process.

"Due to Rockhampton City Council's assistance with this project, approvals that would normally have taken nine months have taken nine weeks," he says.

"As a result, we have been able to start demolition on site this week with a view to completion by the end of the year.

"The fact that Puma Energy has come on board for this project is a huge vote of confidence in Rockhampton, and Ray Group shares in the belief that the city has outstanding growth prospects." 

Ray Group will use the same development model for this project as that used for the Puma Loganlea Travel Centre. The Loganlea facility boasts a Zarraffas Coffee shop which is ranked in the top five across the country for revenue.

Ray Group is understood to have garnered strong interest from national brands for the Rockhampton project.

"We have canvassed the majority of national fast food retailers and they were enthusiastic about a franchisee entering an agreement for the site, however there is also great opportunity for local operators to gain fantastic exposure considering the project's location," he says.

"We are ready to start negotiations with prospective food tenants so we can work with them to have the space operational in line with the opening of the travel centre later this year."

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