Written on the 3 October 2014 by Nick Nichols


SUNLAND Group (ASX: SDG) has reached into its deep pockets for a $61 million splurge on the Gold Coast property market in what is its biggest ever acquisition of a development site.

The deal - also one of the largest development site acquisitions on the Gold Coast since Chinese-backed Ridong paid $81.8 million for the Jewel site at Surfers Paradise in 2010 - has boosted the Brisbane-based company’s national development portfolio by 27 per cent to $4 billion.

Sunland is sketching out plans to create a new $850 million urban precinct on the 41.9ha property, known as Lakeview, which has largely lain dormant in the hands of Sydney-based investors for three decades.

Lakeview, once touted as a site for the Gold Coast Convention Centre, has been sold by the Scheinberg family who once flagged ambitions to develop the property and are reported to have knocked back a similar offer for the site by Ridong three years ago.

Sunland is understood to have been working on the Lakeview deal for some time and the size of the project shows the company’s interest in its traditional heartland has not waned.

Sunland announced an $18.4 million acquisition at Palm Beach in July and it is also developing a $480 million master-planned community in the Brisbane-Gold Coast corridor at Pimpama.

The Lakeview project will bring Sunland’s development pipeline on the Gold Coat to more than $1.6 billion.

Settlement of the latest deal is expected in May, but until then Sunland will be reviewing its options for the property which features a central lake and comes with $1.3 million a year in revenue from a retail precinct developed about a decade ago.

The site has existing approvals for buildings up to 10 storeys and opportunity to extend the retail offering.

“Lakeview is undoubtedly one of the most significant and unique development opportunities on the Gold Coast to create a vibrant master planned community,” says Sunland managing director Sahba Abedian.

“The precinct is earmarked for a master planned residential development with current approval in place for 1425 dwellings which will comprise residential housing, townhomes and medium-rise buildings, with an estimated overall end value in excess of $850 million.”

“The site also includes an existing retail precinct with a net income of $1.3 million, with the opportunity to further expand the retail offering across the four hectares of additional commercial land.

“The Lakeview acquisition adds to the quality of the Group’s development pipeline and represents a substantial residential opportunity in a prime Gold Coast location.”

Including the latest acquisition, Sunland’s development portfolio, which stretches from Melbourne to Townsville, comprises 6845 lots including housing lots and apartments.

Sunland has ramped up its interest across south-east Queensland with work started on the 40-level Abian luxury apartment tower in Brisbane and plans lodged for a triple-tower project at Toowong on the former ABC studio site.

Author: Nick Nichols





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