Soaring Costs Kill Plans for Gold Coast Super Tower

Melbourne’s most prolific high-rise developer has abandoned plans to build a $500-million luxury apartment tower on the beachfront at Surfers Paradise.

Central Equity blamed “turmoil” within the Queensland building industry for its decision to shelve its 56-storey Pacific One tower development.

The decision comes less than a year after Central Equity announced plans for the 486-apartment tower at Garfield Terrace, Northcliffe, with much fanfare.

“As a result of ongoing discussions with builders and quantity surveyors regarding the global supply-chain turmoil and Queensland construction industry crisis, Central Equity has decided not to proceed with the development of their Pacific One apartment tower on the Gold Coast,” the developer said in a prepared statement.

“The malaise facing builders, including staff shortages and supply-chain disruption, had resulted in the unprecedented escalation of construction costs for developers, making Pacific One economically unviable,” the statement said.

It was Central Equity’s first foray outside Melbourne, and into the booming Gold Coast apartment market. They had completed 85 projects in 35 years until now.

“The company feels strongly that it is better to move proactively now, when faced with such economic turbulence.”

The developer, quoting “industry sources”, said unit prices needed to rise by 20 per cent to cover increased labour and building costs.

Central Equity said there had been no issues with demand for the apartments, and all deposits would be returned to buyers and prospective buyers. It would not say how many apartments, including 184 planned as service apartments, had been sold.

▲ Central Equity said it remained committed to expansion in Queensland and would retain the beachfront site.

Construction of the tower, designed by Brisbane-based architectural firm Marchese Partners, had been expected to begin this year with Ray White appointed to market the one, two, three and four-bedroom apartments. The design included two swimming pools, private dining, gymnasium, and yoga studio.

Gold Coast sources say news of the abandoned project “will rock the local market”. The cancellation follows the shelving of other planned towers along the booming glitter strip, now feeling the pressure of its limited number of building contractors, ever-rising construction costs and supply-chain delays.

Despite this, Central Equity said it remained committed to expansion in Queensland, and would retain the site on the corner of Frederick Street and Garfield Terrace.

Ray White Surfers Paradise Group chairman Andrew Bell said Central Equity’s decision was a rational and mature one.

“Central Equity are being prudent in holding the site for future development,” Bell said.

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