For the last few years, the Gold Coast was abuzz with talk of an AU$3 billion proposal to build a Queensland casino at Southport Spit. There’s plenty more nails to be hammered down before the deal is sealed, and according to one real estate agent, the new Gold Coast casino would be better off across the water.
The property would be built as an integrated resort, featuring a casino, hotel, multiple restaurants and many other amenities. The project is being headed by ASF Consortium, a group of China-backed investors who’s most recent plans name Southport Spit as the intended location.
Greener Grass for New Gold Coast Casino?
Peter Bonenti, a veteran real estate agent and Gold Coast resident, told local media the grass is greener on the other side – the other side of the water, to be precise.
Mr. Bonenti pointed out a number of challenges ASF could face it if proceeds with the existing blueprint. For starters, he said it could cost hundreds of millions of dollars just to build the necessary infrastructure for the property.
There are also zoning laws in Southport Spit that prohibit the construction of any building that exceeds three stories in height. The new Gold Coast casino plans call for a 5-story hotel. The group would have to petition local officials for special permission just to build the Queensland casino in its intended location.
The real estate agent believes these problems could be easily averted – and hundreds of millions of dollars saved – by simply altering its preferred location to Broadwater Tourist Park. It’s not a large leap, being just across the water from Southport Spit, and there’s more than enough land available to build the multi-billion dollar integrated resort.
Mr. Bonenti described the location as ideal, being not too far from an existing state route. He said that connecting to the current infrastructure would be much less expensive than building a new one in the Spit.
At 8.2 hectares, the property in question is duly owned; half by the city council, and half by the Queensland government, which would be responsible for leasing its share to the Consortium.
The idea has already gained the support of Southport Councilor Dawn Crichlow, who believes the Consortium will have a much easier time getting the proposal approved if the venue is moved to Broadwater. Ms. Crichlow said many of the project’s opponents may be appeased by the move, and other potential challenges may fade as well.
ASF Doesn’t Want to Move Queensland Casino, Again
While it all sounds good on paper, the ASF Consortium hasn’t exactly applauded the idea. Media reports indicated that the group is loath to alter the proposal yet again. ASF has already changed the intended location of the new Gold Coast casino three times.
The Consortium lauds the current location in Southport Spit, next to Sea World and the Palazzo Versace hotel, as a perfect location with myriad opportunities. They believe it will help attract millions of visitors to the Gold Coast, and be a boon for the Queensland economy.
However, with the public consultation period having just ended on Friday, the government has yet to complete its review of the massive Queensland casino project. Whether it will receive the final stamp of approval is yet to be seen. If rejected, the Consortium may have no other choice but to accept Mr. Bonenti’s proposal.