The sleepy rural hamlet of Port Vincent in South Australia is set to become the site of an innovative floating homes project as part of the $40 million Dockside Port Vincent waterfront development aimed at driving the region’s tourism economy.
The project, proposed by marina developer Lillis Group which was founded by Centrebet entrepreneur and Aussie bookmaking legend the late Terry Lillis, will be delivered over three stages with construction of the first of nine floating homes expected to begin early next year.
Lillis Group, the original developer of the 120-berth marina, is planning a total of 49 residences as part of the Dockside master plan, a mixed-use development to include retail and café space and possibly a boutique gin distillery.
The first stage will comprise eight townhouses, six of which will be located on the waterfront with access to a shared pontoon. The townhouses are being released to the market this weekend with construction expected to start early next year.
The floating homes, to be located on marina berths owned by Lillis Group and originally designed for large vessels, will be delivered in tandem with the townhouses.
The final stage will bring to the market an additional 32 waterfront apartments set over five levels, complete with retail, cafes and co-working spaces.
Lillis Group project director Peter Villis tells Business News Australia that construction of the first of the nine luxury floating homes is planned to start as early as January next year, driven by a high level of inquiries.
“The floating houses have piqued people’s interest, so we have put a lot of attention to make this work and we believe we have a great design,” says Villis. “They will be a great drawcard for the region.”
Designed by architectural firm Dragon Fly, each of the floating homes will be set over three levels with 221sqm of off-grid living space moored within the Port Vincent marina. Each home, to be priced from the mid to high $800,000 mark, also comes with its own marina berth.
“The floatation system is quite different to a houseboat, quite stable and built for longevity,” says Villis.
The homes will be presented in two and three-bedroom designs with front and rear decks on levels one and two, and a rooftop deck offering commanding views of the Gulf St Vincent.
Lillis Group has opted for dual-key access to target the investor and holiday-home market, with one of the berths dedicated to a floating cafe.
“We do have a gin distillery interested in the café space and if that eventuates it will be a very exciting destination focused on local oysters and local gin,” says Villis.
“Port Vincent has always been a gem, great for kids and good for fishing. It’s directly west of Adelaide so it has always been a popular sailing destination but with what we are planning we see the area lifting to the next level. It will be a world-class offering that will make Port Vincent a prime tourism destination.”
Lillis Group is expecting the Dockside Port Vincent’s residential offering to largely appeal to investor or holiday home market, although there has been some interest from owner occupiers.
The Port Vincent marina was developed by Terry Lillis almost 20 years ago. The Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia manages 90 marina berths within the marina which offers direct access to Gulf St Vincent.
Lillis, who died in September last year, founded Centrebet in the Northern Territory in 1992 leveraging decades of experience as a bookmaker in the Northern territory before selling it in 1998.
Apart from the Port Vincent marina, he had extensive business interests including developments in Queensland, a vineyard in Western Australia and gold exploration assets in the Northern Territory.
Lillis Group remains in the family’s hands, led by Lillis’ son-in-law Nathan Wright.
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