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Sunshine Coast City Hall Paves Way for Pandemic Recovery

Sunshine Coast City Hall Paves Way for Pandemic Recovery

Sunshine Coast Council has commenced construction on the Sunshine Coast City Hall building within the new Maroochydore City Centre.

Local construction company McNab will construct the ten-level building which includes 21,500sq m gross floor area, with complementary commercial and retail uses, rooftop facilities and podium car parking all incorporated into the building’s design.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the 5 Star Green Star, 5 Star Nabers-rated building would be a significant community asset that would be remembered for playing an important part in helping the region’s economy recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The design is inspired by the landscape of the Sunshine Coast, our deep connection to the hinterland, our mountain ranges and our coastal plains.

“The City Hall will be bordered by the laneways of the city centre, South Sea Islander Way and First Avenue,” Jamieson said.

A number of retail and dining opportunities will be offered at the ground floor, and public art and landscaping will create attractive spaces to link the City Hall with its surroundings.”

Sunshine Coast Council endorsed the concept plan for the building in May 2019, and Jamieson said it was exciting to see work commence.

“Council understands the importance of construction projects proceeding at this time to build momentum in the economy and provide local jobs when they are needed most.

“The economic impact of starting construction on this project now cannot be understated, with a forecast 300 jobs likely to be established in construction and supply chain industries over the life of this project, ” Jamieson said.

“This comes at an important time as the region starts to make its way through the recovery phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, by creating new employment opportunities for local tradespeople and suppliers.”

Jamieson said the council’s headquarters—the region’s seat of democracy—will be in the geographic heart of the region, expanding its connections with, and accessibility to, its customers.

“Its design is consistent with our vision for the Sunshine Coast to be Australia’s most sustainable region, healthy, smart, creative, by reflecting our people, our culture and our natural elements,” Jamison said.

McNab Sunshine Coast manager Carl Nancarrow said the large project was a shot in the arm for the local economy at a time the region was emerging from the impact of Covid-19.

“Securing a project of this scale right now is not only important for McNab, it’s a major injection into the local construction industry and economy.

“We think the Sunshine Coast region has a very bright future, and we commend Sunshine Coast Council and SunCentral for the leadership and confidence they are demonstrating in our region,” Nancarrow said.

“It’s not every day we get to build a new landmark city hall, and we’re very proud that we can bring Sunshine Coast Council’s vision to life now that we have the green light to commence works on site over the coming weeks. ”

On completion in mid-2022, the City Hall building will accommodate the customer contact centre, council chamber, retail spaces and office accommodation for around 600 council staff.

City Hall is the third building currently under construction within the new 53-hectare Maroochydore City Centre greenfield development.

Local developer Evans Long is set to complete the precinct’s first commercial building, Foundation Place—spanning eight levels—in late September.

Brisbane-based Habitat Development Group recently commenced construction of its $85 million Market Lane Residences, comprising a two-tower development including 152 dwellings over 14 stories and six small-office, home-office (SOHO) terrace homes, along with ground floor retail for restaurants and cafes.

SunCentral Maroochydore chief executive John Knaggs said it was pleasing to see three major buildings under construction within the new CBD.

“The precinct will be buzzing with construction activity over the next few months and that is fantastic news for the local construction industry and the region’s economy as we emerge from the impact of Covid-19.,” Knaggs said.

“It reinforces our urban design and planning principles to create a vibrant city centre. ”





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Local News

Sekisui’s Plan B revealed as contentious Yaroomba resort remains in legal limbo

Sekisui's Plan B revealed

Sekisui may resurrect a 15-year-old project to develop 329 dwellings at Yaroomba Beach if it’s forced to scrap its controversial plan for a five-star resort.

With the $900 million Westin resort and village project currently in limbo before the court, Sekisui House has revealed another option for the prime site.

The company may revert to an approved application from 2007 to build an exclusive gated housing estate by the beach.

Sunshine Coast Council has confirmed Sekisui’s land is located within part of the existing 2007 Coolum Hyatt Resort Master Plan “that remains in effect”.

That approval allows for a maximum of 329 dwellings, including units, duplexes and detached houses, with building heights ranging from two to four storeys, the council confirmed.

It also allows a mix of resort, residential and commercial/retail uses up to 500sqm, plus vegetation clearing, excavation of a lake and fill.

With the median property price in the area now at $1.3 million, the alternate housing development for the Yaroomba beachside could be worth at least half a billion dollars.

The possible move comes after the Coolum-Yaroomba community won a years-long legal battle in February which sent council’s 2018 resort approval back to the Planning and Environment Court for a review.

The Court of Appeal has yet to issue direction to the Planning and Environment Court.

If the review goes against Sunshine Coast Council and Sekisui it would mean the end of the road for the current resort application.

But Sekisui’s project director Evan Aldridge said the company still had the option to develop the site according to the 2007 plan, which already had approval.

That plan does not have a major resort but includes 329 dwellings in the Yaroomba beachside precinct.

By comparison, the current resort venture has fewer dwellings (67) and more apartments (132 serviced apartments and 541 apartments), with the central feature being the contentious 220-room hotel.

Development Watch’s Lyn Saxton said the original 2007 approval was “very generous” as it granted six four-storey buildings in an area that now allowed only two storeys.

Ms Saxton said once the court proceedings were finalised, Sekisui House would be able to proceed with that project “and no-one can object”.

However, if it wanted to change anything, Sekisui would have to take into account the new height limit of two storeys placed on the site in 2014.

“It also needs to take into account the community expectation regarding that height limit of two storeys and many other factors,” she said.

However, Sekisui’s own planning report has painted a less-than-ideal image of the older project that it may end up pursuing.

The Project Urban Planning Report from 2018 states that the 2007 design:

  • Is exclusive to gated residents
  • Has no public parking and access to the beach
  • Has no public parks and local amenities
  • Has minimal open space and is for private use only
  • Requires clearing of “all vegetation on site”

Having no resort would also mean missing out on $228.6 million annually to the local economy, 1,379 resort jobs and 176,700 visitor stay nights per year, the report states.

Sekisui’s planning report says the more favourable features of the contentious 2018 application over the original were:

  • A village feel with a resort, shops, amenities and village heart
  • 382 public carparks
  • Direct access to the patrolled beach
  • 4 hectares of public open and green space gifted to the Sunshine Coast Council
  • 2,770sqm village retail

The resort was to stand between five and seven storeys which was the most disputed aspect of the design as it did not fit with the community’s expectation on height limits.

It stepped down to four-storey apartments around the hotel and transitioned to three-storey dwellings towards David Low Way and Yaroomba Beach and two-storeys to the south.



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Sunshine Coast

Auction action: home hunters pour in despite rainy weekend on Sunshine Coast

home hunters pour in

The weather may have been wet and wild, but it failed to dampen the red-hot Sunshine Coast property market over the weekend.

While Brisbane and interstate buyers have been active recently, locals were the successful buyers at two auctions run by Pam Thomas of Ray White Maroochydore.

A hot price was achieved for a three-bedroom, three-bathroom and two-carport unit at Mooloolaba.

Pam believes the one-of-a-kind apartment in the Saffire Complex, at 14/16 Marjorie St, was deserving of the undisclosed, but above reserve, price, it achieved at auction.

“It went for just marginally shy of a record-breaking price for the Saffire complex,” she said.

“The biggest price was for the penthouse and that’s different again.”

She said units of this size – 178 square metres – were as “scarce as hen’s teeth’ and the sale price recognised its unique value.

There were five active bidders and a local bidder won the day.

A two-bedroom, two-bathroom, two-car, 110sq m unit (no 21) in the same complex sold for $1,010,000 on 10/02/2021.

Pam’s second auction at 1/91 beach Rd, Maroochydore, sold under the hammer for $850,000 and, once again, went to a local.

“It was sold seven years ago to an investor, and this time around, it’s been sold to another investor.”

Pam commented that she was surprised there just two bidders for the four-bedroom, two-bathroom, one-carport, unit.

 Yay, a first homebuyer gets the prize!

Mandy Leahy of Ray White was delighted to see a renovated two-bedroom unit at 6/126-128, Broadwater Ave, Maroochydore sold to a first homebuyer.

Mandy said there were four registered bidders after “good numbers went through the property”.

On the day, a young naval officer, represented by his parents, would be the victor.

The unit (pictured below) sold under the hammer for $540,000.

home hunters pour in Auction

The unit at 6/126-128, Broadwater Ave, Maroochydore.




2 Bed, 1 Bath, 1 Car, Ray White, Keegan Sutton



4 Bed, 2 Bath, 2 Car, Ray White, Jodi Price



4 Bed, 2 Bath, 9 Car, Ray White, Chevonne Rees



4 Bed, 2 Bath, 1 Car, Ray White, Pam Thomas



5 Bed, 3 Bath, 4 Car, Ray White, Judy Wild



4 Bed, 2 Bath, 1 Car, Ray White,  Gregory Ward



4 Bed, 3 Bath, 2 Car, Ray White, Ryan Bradeley



2 Bed, 1 Bath, 1 Car, Ray White, Mandy Leahy



2 Bed, 3 Bath, 2 Car, Ray White, Pam Thomas



4 Bed, 3 Bath, 3 Car, Coronis, Jacob Wareham



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‘Best of the best’: Sunshine Coast’s world-class retreats honoured in global awards

Sunshine Coast's world-class retreats honoured in global awards

Grateful guests are repaying the “mountains of hospitality” they encounter on the Sunshine Coast with rave reviews that are cementing the region on the world hotels map.

The 2022 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best awards categories reveals the most-loved hotels around the world, with 11 subcategories of accommodation, including three new ones: Out of the Ordinary Hotels, Hotels on the Water, and Mountain Resorts and Lodges.

Seven Sunshine Coast hotels have been recognised in the latest community-powered ranking by TripAdvisor customers – some in multiple categories.

The region dominated Experiential and Romance accommodation in Australia and has done exceptionally well in the world rankings in the 20th year of the hotel awards.

Sunshine Coast's world-class retreats honoured, The Falls Montville.

The Falls Montville.

One of the area’s boutique players that’s big on welcomes – The Falls Montville (Kondallilla Falls Rd) – won a swag of awards:
• Best Small Hotels World: The Falls Montville No.4, Bli Bli House Riverside Retreat No.15.
• Best Romance Hotels World: The Falls Montville No.3, Bli Bli House Riverside Retreat No.9.
• Best Mountain Lodges and Resorts World: The Falls Montville No.5.
• Best Small Hotel Australia: The Falls Montville No.1 (Bli Bli House Riverside Retreat No.2, Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat No.7).
• Best Small Hotel South Pacific: The Falls Montville No.1 (Bli Bli House No.3, and Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat at Montville No.14).
• Best Romance Hotel South Pacific: The Falls Montville No.1 (Bli Bli House Riverside Retreat was runner-up, and Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat No.14).

In addition, Maleny’s Blue Summit Cottages won the award for Best B&B in Australia (Alaya Escape at Eudlo was No.5, and Avocado Grove at Flaxton No.14) and was named 23rd in the world in that category.

Sunshine Coast's world-class retreats given honour

Element on Coolum Beach is flying the flag for beachside hotels in the awards.

Beachside, Element on Coolum Beach was named No.7 in the Best Hotel in Australia category and No.12 for the South Pacific.

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Matt Stoeckel said the region offered one of the most enviable ranges of high-quality boutique accommodation in Australia.

“We have the perfect setting for luxury boutique hotels, B&Bs, lodges and self-contained accommodation, and the hinterland – with its spectacular scenery – is where they have excelled,” he said.

“There is undoubtedly a strong trend towards nature-based ‘rejuvenation’ and romantic holidays, and these awards highlight that our hinterland properties are constantly delivering memorable holiday experiences.

“It’s great to see so many of our accommodation properties featured in the ‘Best of the Best’, and we look forward to welcoming new additions like HOLA in Eumundi and Maleny Lodge in future awards.”

Alan Dryden, of The Falls Montville, said he and his wife Aryna had been in Sydney when they heard the news of the awards and celebrated with “a couple of bottles of Barossa red and very nice French champagne with family”.

It was a double celebration because the Drydens were able to meet their 21-month-old grandson Freddie Wolf Dryden from New Zealand for the first time – kept apart due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

“We’ve actually featured in Small Hotels, Romance and Mountain Lodge (categories),” he said.

“I don’t think anybody else who’s won awards around the world in this Travellers’ Choice has been featured in three different types of category.

“So, that’s quite an accomplishment from our point of view.

“My wife Aryna, she’s got wonderful attention to detail and absolutely superb standards so I think that underpins the delivery of our experience.

Sunshine Coast's world-class retreats honoured. Bli Bli House Riverside Retreat.

Bli Bli House Riverside Retreat.

“Not only have we won these awards but … we’re the No.1 traveller-ranked property in the whole of Australia as we speak – whether small or large – on the live TripAdvisor platform right now.”

He paid tribute to the efforts of fellow hotel and resort operators around Montville in creating a pocket of excellence in the Coast hotel industry.

“Last year, Narrows Escape, one of our neighbours up here, was named the No.1 romance hotel on the entire planet,” he said.

“Blue Summit have excelled up here as well: they are the No.1 B&B in the country. What a fabulous operation.

“Overall, if you look at Spicers, Secrets on the Lake, Montville Misty View, Lovestone, Belles (At Montville), Montagues (Of Montville), Kondalilla Eco Resort, Lillypillys and several more top notch operators, Montville is the boutique accommodation capital of Australia.

Sunshine Coast's world-class retreats awards, Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat.

Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat.

Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best award winners are among the top 1% of listings on TripAdvisor.

So, Element on Coolum Beach managers David and Susannah Hart are equally thrilled to have made the Best of the Best list once again and thanked guests for their support of the beachside address on David Low Way.

Sunshine Coast's world-class retreats honoured

Guests voted with their computer mouse for Element on Coolum Beach.

“After taking out the top spot in 2021, we are proud to appear in the Top 25 again this year, taking out No.7 for Australia and No.12 for South Pacific, they said.

“This returns us to the Top 25 Best of the Best category.

“Thank you to all of the fantastic guests who share their holiday experiences, enabling us to receive such an honour.

“Our impressive team ensured the very best service was provided to our guests.

“We appreciate that memories last forever, and we look forward to seeing you again soon to create a few more in our slice of paradise in Coolum Beach, Queensland.”


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