Burleigh childcare centre dodges development threat

The centre provided a much-needed community service
An interstate investor has ditched plans to redevelop a lucrative Burleigh Heads site, instead yielding to community pressure to reopen the existing childcare centre.
Burleigh Sandpiper Childcare and Services faced closure after 25 years and the Acanthus Ave property sold to Sydney-based residential developer Gracorp Holdings for $2.19m at a hotly contested auction in April 2023.
Gracorp Holdings director Sam Graziani said the company had eyed the prime beachside land for a townhouse project, but changed tack in response to feedback from local families.
“We initially looked at it as a development opportunity. It was an 802 sqm corner block and we had the option of putting either two houses or three townhouses on it,” Mr Graziani said.
“But there were a lot of locals at the auction on the day we bought it, and it became clear to me these families didn’t want development if it meant losing their school.
“This was a much-needed community service and had been a second home to hundreds of local children for close to 25 years.
“We decided we would do the right thing by the community and reinstate the centre,” he said.
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The 38-place centre is back up and running after extensive refurbishments, with limited enrolments available for children aged 2.5 to 5 years.
Mr Graziani said close to $250,000 to “completely modernise the service” and renovate the building’s two rooms in a bright, fresh style.
Centre director Lisa Campbell, who has more than 30 years of experience on the Gold Coast, said many of the previous staff had returned to the new-look service.
“By choosing to reopen, upgrade and maintain essential services at the centre, Burleigh Sandpiper is making a positive and lasting impact on the local community,” Ms Campbell said.
The centre is Gracorp’s first foray into the childcare sector, while the company is seeking future opportunities to pursue residential development in the booming southeast Queensland corner.
Local families didn’t want development
The Burleigh property had been marketed for auction last year by agent Juliana Gomes.
It was described in the sale listing as: “an outstanding income-producing asset and blue-chip development site … in the heart of Burleigh Heads.
PropTrack data shows multi-unit dwellings in the southern Gold Coast hotspot are sought after, with apartment prices in Burleigh Heads up 5.6 per cent over the past 12 months to a median of $950,000.
“We had reached out to childcare operators as part of our campaign and while there was plenty of competition given the property’s incredible location and development potential, there was also incredible scope for the right buyer to capitalise on its proud history,” said Ms Gomes, whose young son was among the preschool’s alumni.
“It’s not always about development — the community wins and Burleigh Sandpiper Childcare centre is here to stay.”
Here to stay

The post Burleigh childcare centre dodges development threat appeared first on realestate.com.au.

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