Makris Group gets the nod for $500m plan to add hotel and apartments to Marina Mirage

A luxury boutique hotel and residential apartments are set to join the tenancy mix at Marina Mirage on the Gold Coast following a $500 million redevelopment proposed by long-time owner Makris Group, with the plan set to add a third floor to the property while retaining the iconic shade sails that have graced the site since 1988.

The redevelopment proposal, lodged in February this year, was approved today by the City of Gold Coast’s planning and environment committee.

Once the decision is ratified by the full council, Makris Group has signalled a 2027 opening for the new-look Marina Mirage, well ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games.

Makris Group, founded by Adelaide-based billionaire Con Makris and led by his son Jason as CEO, reveals it has already held preliminary contractor negotiations with Hutchinson Builders to take on the project.

The company has also held discussions with an unnamed group, said to be one of the world’s largest boutique hotel brands, to operate the proposed 110-room hotel.

“Marina Mirage is unique to Australia’s east coast and is the most prominent parcel of land on the Spit,” says Con Makris, the executive chairman of Makris Group.

“Our proposed redevelopment embodies a long-term and responsible strategy to deliver a substantial asset that benefits both present and future generations.”

The planned redevelopment of Marina Mirage comes on the heels of a recent upgrade to the property’s marina facility to create a 78-berth superyacht marina.

The redevelopment of Marina Mirage has been a long time coming. Acquired for $52 million in 2013, along with a separate transaction for the marina totalling about $7 million, the property has lost its shine over the past decade as the Gold Coast night scene moved further south to Broadbeach and Burleigh Heads.

The motivation to reinvest in the property has been heightened by plans for two ultra-luxurious residential marina projects proposed adjacent to Marina Mirage.

The proposed Marina Mirage redevelopment will deliver a boutique hotel, apartments and a rejuvenated dining and retail precinct.

Mariner’s Cove, immediately next door, is being transformed by Australian developers Pelligra Group and Giannarelli Group into a $480 million residential-resort development anchored by Ritz Carlton.

South of this site, Gordon Corporation in partnership with pubs baron Bruce Mathieson, is proposing the $300 million Mantaray Marina and Residences which will deliver an upmarket retail and dining destination along with a superyacht marina on a site acquired from the Queensland Government. 

Makris Group notes that Marina Mirage is located within the state government’s Spit Master Plan which envisages the area becoming an ecological, tourism, recreation and leisure destination.

Marina Mirage is currently a two-level property and, due to a three-level height limits placed on developments at the Southport Spit, the upgrade will deliver an additional floor.

Makris Group says its proposal for the property will for the first time allow Marina Mirage to accommodate a ‘limited collection of timeless residences and villas’.

Marina Mirage, originally developed as a high-end retail and dining destination at the height of the 1980s property boom by disgraced Queensland businessman Christopher Skase, is aiming to regain some of its lost lustre.

Makris Group says it is planning to bring a ‘selection of world-class restaurateurs’ to the property to ‘further enhance the culinary offering’.

The company says wellbeing and rejuvenation will be a central theme of the mixed-use development that will also include a selection of ‘hand-picked’ Australian retail boutiques.

Under the proposal, the sail-covered central courtyard of Marina Mirage will be opened up and the property’s iconic shade sails will be reimagined and repositioned above each of the main buildings on either side.

Jason Makris says the proposal aims to deliver a sustainable transformation of Marina Mirage.

“With state support, the Gold Coast is now well positioned to embrace our exciting, multifaceted world-class development – a true national asset,” he says.

“Over the next few months, we will be finalising the realisation of our Marina Mirage vision.

“As we approach this milestone, Marina Mirage proudly celebrates 35 years of providing award-winning waterfront dining and boutique shopping.”

In the meantime, Marina Mirage, which is home to Glass Dining and Lounge Bar, La Luna Beach Club and Calleija jewellers, is expected to continue trading as usual.

Makris Group also owns the retail and office precinct at The Oracle in Broadbeach which it bought in 2014 for $65 million.

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