RECEIVERS are finally poised to kickstart the Marina Quays Town Centre project, bringing to fruition at least part of the plan first mooted by former Hope Island developer John Fish almost a decade ago.
The district retail centre, to be developed on a 2.4ha site bounded by Broadwater Avenue, Sickle Avenue, Marina Quays Boulevard and Mervyn Thomas Drive, has been earmarked for a full-line supermarket, a smaller discount retailer, office space and food outlets.
The proposal is a far cry from the bold plans originally envisaged by Fish, who wanted to build a mini-city with its own business centre, high end fashion stores and a specialist medical precinct and private school.
However, the downgraded project is targeting a surging population base on Hope Island, which has been aided by renewed development activity from some of the industry's biggest players, including Australand and Sunland.
Receiver Ken Whittingham, of PPB Advisory, could not be reached for comment on his plans for the completed development, which will comprise 18,700sqm of floorspace across two levels and create upwards of 360 full-time jobs.
Woolworths, which has had its eye on the site for the past five years, is planning to anchor the development with a 4174sqm supermarket. Woolworths has been contacted for comment.
Whittington has lodged a material change of use application for the town centre development which was first mooted in 2006.
The collapse of Fish's development interests put an end to the dream, before Walker Corporation put its foot on the site in 2010.
Walker Corp, headed by property billionaire Lang Walker, had planned a staged $80 million mixed-use commercial and retail precinct on part of the site which had already drawn interest from Woolworths.
However, Walker did not proceed with the acquisition, which included the adjacent Marina Quays Tavern, and the property has remained in receivers hands ever since.
Market sources say receivers will likely sell the project once completed, with one suggesting the surge in retail activity from both private investors and managed funds over the past year could see the project sold during construction.
Hope Island had an estimated catchment of just over 22,000 people in 2014, which is expected to rise to more than 31,000 by 2026 as development activity continues to ramp up on the city's so called "north shore".
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