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Positive results prompt fast-tracking of Funnel Bay stage

With a booming economy and both sales and construction of Stage 1A at Funnel Bay exceeding the developers’ expectations, the project has now moved on to both Stages 1B and Stage 2.

Development Manager and Sales Agent, Christie Leet, said all the key drivers of a rising property market were now in place, creating an urgency for accommodation and housing to meet looming demand.

“The Whitsundays needs to be ready to cater to a booming tourism market that is ramping up even further, as well as the thousands of families getting jobs in the resurgent resource industry and looking for a home base and place to spend their days off,” he said.

Two new applications for the next stages at Funnel Bay are in the process of being lodged with the Whitsunday Regional Council.

Stage 1B is an application to construct nine homes on the entry to the development site (Lot 16) in the first stage.

“These homes will have a wonderful landscaped entry and again back onto the privacy of environmental Lot D, located an easy 200m walk or drive to the beach,” Mr Leet said.

The Stage 2 Operational Works Application has also been lodged with Council and the first of the two development sites, Lots 21 and 22, are currently being marketed by International Tender by both Mr Leet at PRDnationwide Whitsunday and Darrell Irwin of Colliers International.

Mr Leet said both sites have magnificent sea views, arguably some of the best views on the Whitsunday coast, and also include esplanade frontage.

“Lot 21 has an area of 1.189ha and arguably the best north-facing views on the Queensland coast,” he said.

“The site could be developed in a number of ways, from a single home site through to a 160-room international hotel.

“Lot 22, similarly, could be one of the area’s most sought-after home sites, or nine land Lots (for which a feasibility report has been prepared) and more than 100 apartments, all fronting the esplanade.”

Whitsundays tourism is booming, with the Australian dollar stabilised at a level that entices overseas visitors and domestic visitors to take advantage of low airfares and increased capacity.

Redevelopments at Daydream Island Resort ($30 million) and South Molle Island ($200-$300 million), as well as a $600 million redevelopment at Lindeman Island Resort, are creating substantial employment on the Whitsunday Coast.

Mr Leet said the start of construction at the Adani Carmichael Coal Project, a $16 billion investment in the Central and North Queensland economies, and the reopening of the Collinsville mine, which is in the Whitsunday Shire, would provide even greater demand on housing in the Whitsundays.

Funnel Bay, QLD

“The workforce will be fly-in-fly-out and we have seen in the past that miners like to set up a home base where the family can enjoy the best North Queensland has to offer,” he said.

“Thousands of miners and their families will also be looking for somewhere to relax and enjoy their time off without having to travel too far.

“Properties are selling quickly again – at a pace we haven’t seen for nine years – and the excess housing and rental stock has all but vanished.”

National Director of Special Projects at Colliers, Darrell Irwin said he had seen development interest spread up the Queensland coast.

“Developer interest is now in Airlie Beach and that interest is becoming greater with strong tourism growth and airport traffic numbers,” he said.

“The Whitsunday Coast Airport is the fastest growing regional airport in Australia, with Tiger and Jetstar announcing 55,000 and 65,000 extra seats, respectively, on Whitsunday routes, starting from March.

“This kind of growth and opportunity is certainly on the radar for many national and international developers.”

Tourism Whitsundays CEO, Craig Turner, said the Whitsundays is seeing excellent visitation from all market segments with the area recording the highest domestic visitor growth of any destination in Queensland for the last two reporting quarters. The destination is performing well, and the signs point to continued and sustained growth in the tourism industry.

Mr Irwin said the new sites had preliminary approvals attached to them and were code assessable for the majority of uses.

Settlement is not expected until August of this year, allowing the new owners ample time to prepare their developments scheme and to even have product in the market place prior to settling the sites.

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