GOLD Coast developer Rayjon is digging up solid interest in a new apartment project at Benowa as the earthmovers prepare for construction on the site which is to include a new Coles supermarket.
Vantage Gold Coast, a six-tower 357-apartment project, is aimed at filling what Rayjon sees as a void in the Gold Coasts "coastal fringe" market for apartments.
"The Benowa precinct, centred on Royal Pines and Metricon Stadium, has become a real drawcard for people to live over the last two to three years and the area is crying out for new residential property offerings," says Rayjon general manager Jeremy Dunn.
"Vantage occupies a prime position adjoining the RACV Royal Pines Resort, and the site has been on peoples radar for a very long time as a future development gem.
"Now that there's activity on site we've been receiving daily calls and emails from people who are visiting the resort or driving past on their way to work each day."
The first stage of Vantage is expected to be launched in January, while construction of the Coles supermarket - due for completion in mid-2016 - will start once the bulk earthworks are completed.
Rayjon, controlled by veteran developer John Hembrow, bought the Vantage site in 2006 for $11.5 million and has held ambitions for a mixed-use project on the site since then.
Hembrow, who also owns Treetops Plaza at Burleigh, has been active in the market in recent years, swooping on the former Surfers Rowers restaurant and bar at Bundall and re-launching it as 150 Public House.
Hembrow, along with Terry Morris, Terry Jackman and Bruce Mathieson, has also backed the proposed $100 million Hinterland cableway project.
Dunn says Rayjon is targeting the Bundall, Ashmore and Benowa precinct for development, tipping it as the Gold Coasts next major growth area.
"You only have to look at what is happening in Bundall - with the redevelopment of the equestrian precinct into a major events hub, which now hosts the Gold Coast Show and weekly farmers markets - to see the potential for growth," he says.
"The construction of a new Masters Hardware centre on Bundall Road and plans for the cultural precinct upgrades including an amphitheatre and green bridge to Chevron Island are other signs that Bundall is maturing.
"Its neighbours, Ashmore and Benowa, have been out of the spotlight in recent years, but I can see them coming back in a big way due to the level of infrastructure and development in the pipeline, which is why we have secured a foothold in the area with our new Vantage project.
"The Commonwealth Games will be based at the Carrara Stadium, immediately adjoining Royal Pines Resort and the Investment by RACV, Sunland, Coles' supermarkets and the Howard Group show that this area is set to make a leap forward.
"These suburbs have been sleepy up until now as they are very mature, but due to their central location they are being pushed into an urban renewal that will see the nature of these suburbs change greatly and lift the quality of lifestyle for all residents.
"In recent years there has been very little new property development on the Gold Coast - mostly due to broader market factors, but now the time is right to become active again and release land that we have been working on to for eight years, to make sure that we got the planning and product exactly right.
"There are currently a number of property developments starting up in the Benowa-Ashmore area and I think the injection of all of this new housing and apartments will reshape people's perception. It will shake its tag as an 'older' area and emerge as a new hub for those looking for new lifestyle options."
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