Details revealed for GKI Resort development sale
AN exciting new chapter for the Great Keppel Island Resort has begun after new investor the Altum Property Group recently put pen to paper.
Altum officially entered into a conditional contract with current resort owner Tower Holdings, commencing the sale process of the leases with due diligence.
Following the success of their master-planned 179-apartment Parkridge Noosa development nestled among Noosa National Park, they were seeking a fresh high-end development opportunity.
Subject to the due diligence process, Altum Director Rob McCready is ready to move on the Great Keppel Island Resort project believing now was the time for this critical tourism infrastructure.
"Great Keppel Island is the best island off the Queensland coast with the best beaches, a fantastic climate with half the rainfall of the northern Great Barrier Reef and no stingers," Mr McCready said.
"We know that the development of a resort on Great Keppel Island will largely grow the current numbers of 50,000-day visitors and 30,000 room nights per annum on the island."
"This critical tourism infrastructure will add another pillar to the economy.
"In the past decade there has been a 50 per cent increase in tourism to Queensland but only a 12 to 13 per cent increase in Central Queensland."
Mr McCready said the lease transfer would be a lengthy process but was pleased with support they had received, particularly from the Queensland Government who classified the development it as a prioritised project and referred it to the Co-ordinator General.
"We have been impressed by the support of local businesses, Livingstone Shire Council, the regional tourism organisation (Capricorn Enterprise) and the state government's assistance to get to this point in what is a fairly complex process," he said.
Mr McCready paid credit to the State Government for funding for the undersea water pipeline and electricity and fibre-optic cable project linking GKI to mainland infrastructure which he regarded as essential for the successful redevelopment of the resort on the island.
"This revitalisation will kick into gear a level of tourism economic activity the region hasn't seen before," he said.
While the sales process has commenced and not continued to completion previously, Knight Frank principal Pat O'Driscoll was confident that the due diligence being undertaken by Rob McCready and the team at Altum would provide the desired outcome.
"Having worked with the Directors of Altum for many months now, I am impressed by their attention to detail and willingness to work with all appropriate parties including our local politicians, Capricorn Enterprise and local business," Mr O'Driscoll said.
"It is fair to say that of all the interested parties over the years to purchase Great Keppel Island Resort, Altum has exercised the most thorough due diligence."
Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll said it was an exciting time for our region.
"When I was first introduced to Rob and his business partners some time ago by Pat and Anthony, I was impressed by their enthusiasm and genuine admiration and knowledge of the Keppels and our greater region," Ms Carroll said.
"Altum are going about the due diligence process very carefully and astutely and have respectfully taken the time to meet with our local politicians including Livingstone Mayor, Bill Ludwig, Keppel MP Brittany Lauga, and Federal Capricornia MP Michelle Landry to provide personal briefings."
Tower Holdings purchased the 99-year Great Keppel Island lease in 2006, closing the resort's doors two years later.
In 2012, it announced a $600 million master plan featuring a golf course, marina, casino, shops and accommodation however it struggled to secure the necessary licences.
By entering into sales purchases agreement for the 160HA Great Keppel Island Resort lease, Altum would look to develop the first stages of a marina and hotel complex.
A State Government condition of the lease was construction of a sea wall and stage one, 50-berth marina, and stage one of a resort hotel complex.
Mr McCready said he expected the marina's first stage to run to $30m and to $250m completed with waterfront apartments.
Altum already has a partnership in place as hotel operator, a role that would be filled by its Parkridge finance partner which runs hotels in Australia and south east Asia.