Surfers gets into the Spirit to lure the 'super rich'

Surfers gets into the Spirit to lure the 'super rich'

IT'S the largest single residential tower ever undertaken on the Gold Coast, poised to add 479 premium-priced apartments to central Surfers Paradise, but the Chinese developer sees no issue in finding buyers with deep pockets.

Beijing-based Foriseland has officially launched the $1.2 billion Spirit project, an 89-level mixed-use development with a price list that is primed for the super wealthy.

The entry price is $1.66 million for a one-bedroom apartment of 91sqm.

The project's launch comes after a lengthy geotechnical works program on the former Iluka high rise site along the Surfers Paradise esplanade. It also finally triggers the countdown to completion by 2021.

While Spirit will be targeting Australian and Chinese buyers, including downsizers, Foriseland says the project is positioning for a broader market reach.

"We will be looking at buyers from the across the world, such as the US, Canada and New Zealand," says Jason Xiao, the Foriseland general manager of marketing.

Restaurant concept at Spirit

"The Gold Coast has all the natural attraction to make Spirit a success. It's a project without peer on the Australian landscape."

Four-bedroom apartments from 497sqm are priced from $14.25 million, while sub-penthouses of more than 1000sqm are priced from $24 million.

The asking price for the penthouse, an expansive 2000sqm residence, is $41 million. It will rank among the most expensive apartments in Australia should that price be achieved.

Although there is no indication of how the market has responded to Spirit so far, a $5 million sale is understood to have been secured prior to the official launch event held at Palazzo Versace last Friday.

Spirit plans to attract high-end retail brands and fine dining restaurants at the street-front level, while the scale, design and exclusivity of the project has been touted as a tourism drawcard in its own right.

Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steve Ciobo sees Spirit as a 'shot in the arm' for the Gold Coast's tourism industry.

"This new project will inject millions of dollars more into the local Gold Coast economy and create a great new tourist attraction in the heart of Surfers Paradise," says Ciobo.

"It's going to be a job creator in the construction industry as well as more broadly across the tourism sector.

"It's like building a new factory. It will have a marked effect on the local economy."

Bedroom concept at Spirit

Spirit is expected to create 945 full-time jobs during construction and 585 full-time jobs upon completion.

According to a report prepared for Foreiseland by MacroPlan Dimasi, Spirit will bring an extra 248,000 visitors a year to the Gold Coast and generate $62 million in tourism expenditure.

While international tourist numbers continue to rise, the latest domestic tourism numbers for Gold Coast showed a drop of 2.1 per cent in overnight stays for the year to the end of March. Spending also fell 0.3 per cent, building on a negative tourism spending trend over the last two years.

However, Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones is expecting Spirit to play its part in changing this.

"We know that every time we see a world-class quality investment on the Gold Coast, spending increases," Jones says.

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