Written on the 22 April 2016 by Jenna Rathbone


MELBOURNE developer Villawood Properties has lifted the veil on its biggest project to date on the Gold Coast, a $500 million master-planned community that is primed to capitalise on the light rail extension to Helensvale.

The Surrounds, which will ultimately comprise a mix of homes and apartments with an estimated end value of $1 billion, is located adjacent to Westfield's Helensvale Town Centre and is set to be home to more than 7000 residents in more than 2000 residences upon completion.  

Construction of the first stage is due to begin next month, with the entire project expected to create more than 1500 local jobs over the seven to 10-year life of the project.

Villawood's executive director Tony Johnson says The Surrounds is expected to appeal to local second-home and third-home buyers.

"We anticipate that a high percentage of buyers will be living within five to 10 kilometres of the community," he says.

"Interest to date has shown that these buyers already enjoy the location, the amenity, the schools and access of this established area, but simply want to upgrade to a new contemporary home to fully enjoy the Gold Coast lifestyle."

Villawood says the new community's biggest appeal is its easy access to transportation networks including Helensvale railway station and the proposed stage two of the Gold Coast light rail which has been earmarked for completion by 2018.

"The Surrounds could well be one of Queensland's most connected communities because you can buy land that has major transport infrastructure already in place," says Johnson.

"To add to this, the future plans of the light rail in close proximity to the development will bring about added convenience for The Surrounds' home owners.

"Not only will it provide another transport option, but research shows property along stage one of the Gold Coast's light rail track has improved in value significantly."

It is expected about 30 per cent of the community will be dedicated to green open space, including new parklands.

Villawood has teamed up with industry super fund Hostplus to deliver the project, which sits on an 89ha site on the former Gold Coast Country Club bordered by Coombabah Creek.

It is the second time Villlawood has teamed with Hostplus, which boasts close to one million members, more than 95,000 employers and over $18 billion in funds under management.

The Surrounds will be Villawood Properties' fourth project in the region, with the company spending around $60 million on acquisitions in Queensland in the past two years.

Villawood recently completed Miramar at Casuarina and Essencia at Dakabin, and is in the midst of developing the Kingsholme acreage community in Montego Hills.

Villawood, which delivers around 1200 lots a year across its portfolio and is considered the fifth-largest residential developer in Australia, recently set up a new Queensland base in Southport's CBD.

Founded by Rory Costelloe in 1989, the company has created more than 60 award-winning master-planned communities with a focus on amenities including parks, open space and reserves, public art and resident clubs.

Picture: Villawood Properties Michael Williams (L) and Tony Johnson (R)

Author: Jenna Rathbone
About: Jenna Rathbone is a Queensland-based journalist who writes on a range of issues including business and property affairs and social issues.
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