China’s richest man has committed to invest in a $970 million luxury hotel and apartment development on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Wang Jianlin, chairman of the Hong-Kong listed Wanda Group, announced on Tuesday that he had bought a controlling interest in the Surfers Paradise development site Jewel.
The 1.13 hectare beachfront site had remained vacant while owner, China’s Ridong Group, sought a financial backer.
It had state approval to build three towers. One will be a luxury five-star
hotel and the other two serviced apartments.
A park, conference rooms and restaurants would also be located directly on the beachfront.
The Jewel’s design is especially unique and is the first
project on the Gold Coast to adopt the façade cladding technique to represent three crystalline forms on the beach,” the company said in a statement on its website.
Construction is due to begin next year and the project is expected to be finished by 2018.
Mr Wang is number one on the Forbes China Rich List, with an estimated worth of $14 billion.
He recently met federal Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb in Canberra and was part of the Australia Week tourism investment roundtable in Shanghai in April.
Mr Robb said Wanda Group identified Australia as a priority market during the trade mission.
“The addition of a new luxury Chinese hotel brand to the Australian market will have benefits across Australia’s tourism industry,” he said.
Asian investment booming in Queensland
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the project placed the Gold Coast under the gaze of international investors.
“They have shown a huge vote of confidence in the city and the market, which I know will be heard loud and clear right across Asia,” he said.
“It is a world-class project that will become a tourism drawcard.
“The Gold Coast is in the midst of a renaissance as we work towards the Commonwealth Games in only a few years.”
There is at least $20 billion worth of Chinese investment in prospect in Australian tourism infrastructure alone.
Hong Kong billionaire Tony Fung has proposed an investment of $8.2 billion in a mega hotel-casino complex at Yorkey’s Knob near Cairns.
At Ella Bay, also in far north Queensland, there is a proposal for a $1.8 billion cattle station redevelopment into a resort and residential community.
Major Chinese developer Greenland has also flagged up to $4 billion of further investment in Australia, in tourism infrastructure and agriculture, on top of existing $1.5 billion worth of projects in Melbourne and Sydney.
Gold Coast boom, but some locals not happy
Mr Seeney walks along the beach near the planned development.
PHOTO: Mr Seeney walks along the beach near the planned development. (ABC News: Charmaine Kane) Queensland’s Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney toured Broadwater today, where another Chinese project, the $7.5 billion Broadwater Marine Terminal Project, will be built.
The Chinese-owned ASF Consortium has won conditional approval to build an integrated resort development, including a casino, cruise ship terminal, 50-storey luxury hotel, low-rise residential buildings and retail developments.
Mr Seeney said he was aware of community concerns about the amount of development planned for the Spit.
The consortium will submit a detailed proposal later this year and Mr Seeney said it would address outstanding environmental, commercial and technical issues.