THE troubled Couran Cove Resort may be transformed into a retirement facility for seniors if the new owner of the property has its way.
Eureka Group Holdings (ASX:EGH) has revealed it is preparing to swoop on a portfolio of apartments within the tourist hideaway located on South Stradbroke Island with plans to take on a number of new apartments to be developed on the site.
The Gold Coast company says it has been approached by property owner Island Resorts Pty Ltd to 're-engineer certain assets' of the resort.
The aim is to create a 'viable independent seniors rental village and to provide infrastructure management services'.
"The assets involved meet Eureka's usual standards for cost of acquisition and hurdle rate, and in our strong view are perfect for seniors rentals," say Eureka chairman Robin Levison (pictured) in a statement to the ASX.
"If the acquisition is completed, Eureka in the first instance will acquire between 45 and 70 apartments and manage up to a further 40 on behalf of other owners.
"Over time, up to a further 170 apartments are intended to be built by the developer and managed by Eureka."
Levison is currently overseas and not immediately available for further comment.
Eureka says 300 property owners at the resort have been informed of the proposal, and that it has made the announcement in the interests of full disclosure.
Eureka Group is aiming to become the largest rental-only retirement village operator in Australia and has secured a number of acquisitions in the sector over the past year.
The move to convert the laid-back resort into a retirement haven is a major departure from the original plans laid out for the property when it was acquired from receivers in 2012 by Brisbane investor Craig Dowling.
Dowling spent an undisclosed sum upgrading the property, although it was a troubled tenure that included disputes with property owners.
Also gone is the Ramada branding for the resort after Wyndham revealed the facility did not meet standards.
Island Resorts, controlled by investor Glenn Molloy, is understood to have taken control of management of the facility in December.
Couran Cove was developed in the early 1990s by US philanthropist Chuck Feeney. It had run at a loss since inception, with Feeney said to have pumped more than $300 million into the business to support it.
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