Major development groups from around Australia have already begun circling an 80 hectare holding at the popular beach resort of Lennox Head prior to it being placed on the market next week by receivers PriceWaterhouse Coopers.
Prior to Christmas the site achieved concept approval of the proposed masterplan and project approval for stage one from the Minister of Planning under the SEP 3A planning regime.
The developer secured approval for the NSW Minister for Planning for a high-quality development, providing around 832 residential dwellings with a total population of about 1737 people, which will significantly increase Lennox Head’s current population.
The masterplan approval includes 481 residential home sites, 312 retirement units, a shopping centre, tavern and community centre and provision for medium-density housing.
The site is to be sold by expressions of interest closing Wednesday 25th February and the campaign is being managed by Colliers International directors Jon Chomley of the Sydney office and Darrell Irwin of the Gold Coast office.
Over the last few weeks Mr Chomley and Mr Irwin have been fielding calls from around Australia, after interested development groups were referred to the agency from PriceWaterhouse Coopers.
“We have had interest from groups with residential, retirement and retail development capabilities or similar projects already in their portfolios given the site has an existing concept approval,” Mr Chomley said.
The 80.48ha property, currently under the title of Pacific Pines Estate, is located at the southern end of the pristine Seven Mile Beach and 5km east of the Pacific Highway.
Mr Irwin said a key element of the masterplan is much-needed local amenities such as the shopping centre, which presently would comprise of up to 3000sqm of retail shops, 800sqm of commercial floor space, 25 shop-top dwellings and 280 on-site car parks, and the 300sqm community centre to be designed in conjunction with Ballina Shire Council.
“A long-term management strategy is already in place to protect onsite habitat, with a number of parks and conversation areas,” he said.
“The property is literally a walk-up start for a development group seeking a presence in the popular sea change destination of northern NSW.
“At the moment Lennox Head is dominated by the 25 to 39 age bracket with young children at home, offset by a lower proportion of those aged over 60 years.
“This profile is a result of both past property supply, product and price conditions, where higher-priced and larger lots dominate and genuine retirement product is limited.
“In contrast, nearby Ballina has a very high proportion of retirees, considerably above the NSW benchmark, which illustrates the attractiveness of the area as a lifestyle and retirement destination.
“The growth of Lennox Head has been substantial over the last few years, which can be credited to upgrades to the Pacific Highway from the Gold Coast to Ballina, and very tight controls for any new development in Byron Bay.”
Mr Irwin said undertaken properly, the location, topography of the holding and masterplan in place will create a development akin to the highly successful and acclaimed Casuarina Beach and Salt Village communities on the New Tweed Coast, and even Robina/Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast.
“Pacific Pines Lennox Head has a raft of potential for the right development group which is in a financial and strategic position to move now and secure the property from administrators,” he said.