Developer Behind $500m Gold Coast Project Hits Wall

The developer of a $500-million masterplanned project touted to transform the Gold Coast’s Southport CBD has collapsed owing tens of millions of dollars.

Brisbane-based Nerang Street Pty Ltd—the development entity behind the Queen Street Village project on the site of the former Gold Coast Hospital—has called in administrators.

Its directors are David Blanck and Alex Crooke, the managing director and financial controller of the Bowen Hills headquartered development group Property Solutions.

It is understood Nerang Street Pty Ltd has gone under owing creditors—including two of Queensland’s biggest builders—more than $80 million.

According to a report to creditors lodged with ASIC by Robson Cotter Insolvency Group, the company had succumbed to “a change in property market valuations, inability to meet funding arrangements and prior to that the general impact of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

Among the $40-million-plus in unsecured creditors of the company is Brisbane building firm Tomkins which is owed $16.2m.

Secured creditors owed a total of $43 million include locally based Hutchinson Builders, one of Australia’s largest private builders, which is owed $22 million.

According to the administrators’ report some secured creditors have already “taken steps to recover their securities” but it is estimated “a significant shortfall will be incurred from the sale or recovery of the assets”.

▲ Render of the Queen Street Village project on the site of the former Gold Coast Hospital in the Southport CBD.

A creditors meeting has been set down for September where it is understood a decision will be made on either liquidating the company or arranging a deed of company arrangement.

The Queen Street Village masterplan was designed by architecture firm Buchan and was spruiked as a multi-million-dollar mixed-use lifestyle development.

Its prime 3.2ha triangular site—formerly occupied by the Gold Coast Hospital, which closed in 2013 and has since been demolished—is bounded by Queen, Nerang and Little High streets.

Nerang Street Pty Ltd initially owned all nine lots of the project, which was approved in 2018, but it has since offloaded five of the parcels.

The first stage of the redevelopment opened in recent weeks after months of delays due to wet weather, Covid, and building material and labour shortages.

It includes new retail outlets, health services, a Dendy Cinema complex, IGA supermarket, Asian grocery store, gym, food court, childcare, cultural and social hubs.

Revamped plans for a $120-million, two-tower vertical retirement village and aged care facility also were recently given the green light for the site.

Comprising towers of 19 storeys and 30 storeys it will be the largest vertically integrated project to be undertaken to date by not-for-profit residential aged care operator Bolton Clarke.

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