Aniko Group plans $1b landmark project for Mermaid Beach ‘bomb site’

Private developer Aniko Group has revealed plans for a landmark $1 billion mixed-use project, the biggest ever undertaken by the Gold Coast company, that will create a mini city at Mermaid Beach on one of the city’s many notorious ‘bomb sites’.

Aniko Group has revealed that the $30 million contract to purchase the 1.1342ha site, located at the doorstep of Pacific Fair, is now unconditional and that it is finalising plans for the long-vacant property which was amalgamated and subsequently cleared for a major development more than a decade ago.

The four-tower development is among the largest landholdings on the Gold Coast Highway corridor south of Broadbeach where Aniko Group plans to deliver a mixed-use development comprising 1,000 apartments, 5,000sqm of office space, a hotel and waterfront dining precinct.

The proposed development is also one of three major projects planned on dormant legacy sites that have dotted the central Gold Coast for decades – commonly referred to by locals as bomb sites – with some left vacant since the 1980s. The other developments include Tim Gurner’s $1.75 billion four-tower luxury complex known as La Pelago at Buds Beach and the $800 million three-tower Paradiso Place across the road at Surfers Paradise, both of which take up entire city blocks.

The master plan for the Mermaid Beach development, designed by Plus Architecture, features four residential towers of 25, 30, 40 and 45 storeys that will accommodate additional uses such as office space on a dedicated lower-level podium.

The ground floor will include a waterfront fine-dining precinct utilising more than 100 metres of river frontage on the property’s western boundary.

Aniko Group managing director George Mastrocostas says the dining precinct is designed for the resident and visitor experience, with the proposed development seeking to create a resort-style amenity that is expected to deliver a new tourism destination, leveraging off the location next to the Broadbeach South light rail station.

“Stepping up off the ground into commercial offices provides a supply of new office space that the area has been seeking,” says Mastrocostas.

“Capping off the scheme is a residential offering harnessing the incredible sight lines across iconic beaches into the open ocean and the hinterland, while residents and visitors will be just a short stroll from an array of Gold Coast beaches.”

Aniko Group acquired the site from Singapore developer Ho Bee which has held it for the past decade. Ho Bee had proposed a smaller scale mixed-use development comprising 735 apartments across four towers.

Prior to that the site was largely owned by the Howard Group, a Gold Coast company that developed the Sphere project at Southport but fell into administration before fully delivering on its master plan amid the fallout from the GFC.

Matsrocostas says a site of this scale provides a rare opportunity to create a landmark development for the Gold Coast.

“Being such a significant project, our design team is taking a considered approach to create a standout development in an increasingly discerning market,” he says.

“A site of this scale would normally take years to amalgamate, but we are now ready to go with a development that will create a vibrant new coastal community and leave a legacy that we believe will stand the test of time.”

Aniko Group has been highly active at Hope Island on the northern end of the Gold Coast where is has undertaken five projects worth more than $500 million combined. It moved into the city’s central precinct earlier this year with plans for a $105 million residential tower at Chevron Island.

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