MON 30 SEP 19 | Author: DINAH LEWIS BOUCHER | Source: The Urban Developer
A proposal has been announced for a $100 million surf ranch on the Sunshine Coast with 11-time world champion Kelly Slater’s name attached and a Brisbane-based heavyweight to develop the project.
Consolidated Properties, led by Don O’Rorke, confirmed with The Urban Developer that the group is behind the project in a move that would see it partner with the World Surf League on the development.
The surf ranch, which would span a 529-hectare site in Coolum, would deliver a sporting and tourism facility – valued at an estimated $100 million – in an announcement made by the pro-surfers governing body WSL which own a majority stake in Slater's company.
It's understood that construction company Hutchinson Builders, led by Scott Hutchinson, could also be part of the major Sunshine Coast project.
The project includes the development of an eco-lodge, shops, a 'farm to plate' restaurant, a sports centre, a school and houses, public open space and an environmental experience centre.
While the exact location hasn't been confirmed, it's expected the wavepool will be attached to the proposed Coolum sporting facilities.
The World Surf League has plans for a surf ranch for the Sunshine Coast. Pictured, the first Surf Ranch facility in Lemoore California.
WSL Asia Pacific general manager Andrew Stark described Australia as a core market for the WSL.
“We want to ensure we and our partners strike the right balance between economic development and sustainable growth for the coast,” he said.
“And we view the Sunshine Coast as a natural home for a Surf Ranch, given its culture, history, and roots within surfing as well as its pristine beaches and commitment to environmental sustainability.”
The original Kelly Slater surf ranch, based in California and recently visited by tourism minister Kate Jones, originated from Slater’s wave-technology company aiming to create the “perfect wave” for surfers.
“Having seen this experience first-hand, I can say without doubt that this will be a major drawcard for thousands of people around the world,” Jones said.
Visit Sunshine Coast chief executive Simon Latchford said having Slater’s name attached to the project would increase the region’s appeal.
“While Visit Sunshine Coast is enthusiastic and excited by the project, we are very mindful it must fit the approval criteria laid down by Sunshine Coast Council and state government,” Latchford said.
Subject to planning, Stark says the project could be in operation by 2021.
The Sunshine Coast Daily says the pool could cost up to $100 million and be a jobs boom for the region.