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Published On: Mon, Oct 3rd, 2011

State Government Taxes Stall Coomera Town Centre Start

The Gold Coast Bulletin is reporting that the State Government charges have stalled the start of the Coomera Town Centre according to the Business Editor, Nick Nichols.

Here is the full article.


Coomera Town Centre on back burner

THE State Government’s development arm has pumped up its finances for a planned $2 billion development spree during the next few years but the Coomera Town Centre is looking less likely to be the first project off the starting block.

Talks appear to have stagnated between lead developer Westfield and the Gold Coast City Council over a timetable for development of the $1 billion centre despite renewed optimism of a breakthrough earlier this year.

It’s not a lack of funding that is stalling the project but protracted negotiations with the city council over infrastructure charges which have been estimated to be as high as $140 million.

Westfield has teamed up with the government-owned QIC Global Real Estate to develop the centre.

QIC this week announced it had raised more than $1.72 billion from wholesale investors for its QIC Property Fund to pursue investments in regional shopping centres across Australia over the next seven years.

QIC and Westfield have been sitting on the 35ha Coomera Town centre site next to the rail station along Foxwell Road for the past four years.

A spokesman for Westfield last night said it had yet to reach agreement on the project in its discussions with the city council over infrastructure charges.

A State Government overhaul of charges earlier this year offered hope that a deal was imminent and that a development application would be lodged for the project this year.

Meanwhile, QIC — owner of Robina Town Centre — would not disclose whether it had allocated funding for the Coomera Town Centre from its $1.72 billion capital rasing.

QIC Global Real Estate managing director Robert Carter would only say the funds were “earmarked for the domestic market”.

“QIC GRE is actively managing its Australian portfolio and has a significant development pipeline, projected to be valued at more than $2 billion over the next five to seven years, funded almost entirely by equity,” he said.

“The capital raised for the QPF will be focused on our domestic portfolio and we will disclose the details of any future investments at the appropriate time.”

Plans for the town centre project have been in the pipeline for almost two decades but gained traction in 2007 when Westfield and QIC acquired the site.

The poor state of the national retail sector has led some to believe the project would remain on hold for some time but Myer has committed to space in the centre.

Myer had previously indicated it could be in the centre by 2013 but this is looking increasingly doubtful.

Westfield has not given any timetable for development of the centre, which was expected to be larger than Pacific Fair.

You can read the full article along with the reaction from the Gold Coast public here..

About the Author

- Glenn Batten is the Principal Licensee of First National Real Estate Upper Coomera which provides residential property sales and property management services throughout the Northern Growth Corridor suburbs of Upper Coomera, Coomera, Pimpama, Willow Vale, Ormeau and Oxenford.

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