SHUTTERED COURAN COVE BACK ON MARKET, DEVINE WALKS AWAY

Written on the 24 May 2012

SHUTTERED COURAN COVE BACK ON MARKET, DEVINE WALKS AWAY

THE future of the failed Couran Cove Resort (pictured) appears as clouded today as it was when it closed a year ago.

The liquidated property is back on the market after cashed up Brisbane-based Metro Property Development, headed by veteran developers David Devine and Ken Woodley, walked away from a conditional contract on the abandoned South Stradbroke Island property.

Devine revealed his company has conducted extensive due diligence on Couran Cove Resort since first showing interest in the property nearly six weeks ago.

“We decided not to proceed. The fundamentals were not right, it was not for us,’’ he says.

The property remains in the hands of liquidators Ferrier Hodgson. The liquidators had dealt with a number of interested buyers prior to Metro stepping in and are now likely to re-open negotiations.

Colliers International, which began marketing Couran Cove Resort locally and internationally, today confirmed it was still attempting to attract potential buyers.

The current asking price for the resort has not been publicly revealed.

The property includes 158 units and several buildings with a waterfront reception area, conference facilities, beachfront surf club, sports facilities, restaurant and cafe.

There also is a 102-berth marina, next to which a yacht club and 198 strata-title cabins were proposed but never built.

David Vertullo, principal of the Professionals at Paradise Point, says the resort was poorly conceived from the outset.

“People initially paid too much money for property there and access was difficult,’’ he says.

“It’s not good for the overall market to have a white elephant sitting in our backyard, but I doubt it will have too much of an effect on the local residential market.’’

Four entities which own and control Couran Cove Resort went into voluntary liquidation last June when the owner of the companies, billionaire American philanthropist Chuck Feeney, withdrew financial support for the site.

It has been reported Fenney, who spends part of his year living in Australia, pumped $283 million into Couran Cove Resort after buying into the resort for around $20 million in 1998.

While it no longer trades as a resort, there are still privately owned properties, some of which are rented out as holiday accommodation.


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