Ralan’s Gold Coast block up for grabs

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THE 1.147-hectare Gold Coast block once slated for the Ralan Group’s dual tower Sapphire project has been offered to the market following the developer’s spectacular collapse earlier this year.

Knight Frank’s Mark Witheriff and James Branch are marketing the Budds Beach property under instructions from Deloitte appointed by the mortgagee. Buyers will have the flexibility to purchase the entire city block, individual beach homes or vacant land parcels.

The block is bounded by Norfolk, Pine, Oak and Ferny Aves, on the fringe of Surfers Paradise. Some lots are vacant, while others are occupied by various single-level and double-level dwellings, and a super-lot fronting Ferny Avenue.

Sapphire, approved by Gold Coast Council in 2016, would have had 1,000 apartments over as well as a café, community centre, restaurant, shop and take away food premises.

Current zoning for the site also provides for a variety of alternate development types and with a light rail station nearby. Options would include hotel, residential, retail and commercial uses, or individual beach houses. Owners could choose to take on the existing plans for Sapphire.

Sydney-based Ralan collapsed in July owing at least half a billion dollars. Off the plan apartment buyers caught up in the collapse face an uphill battle to get their deposits back after administrators revealed a $277.38 million shortfall, and that Ralan held just $2.2 million held in the trust accounts of six projects.

Sapphire accounted for the largest shortfall in deposits, of $70.64 million, while its components of its $1.4 billion Ruby project accounted for $60.06 million and $59.48 million.

The group’s development pipeline had over 3,000 residential units in the construction or pre-sales stage, as well as operating accommodation assets of more than 600 rooms.

Receivers have recently put the Paradise Resort on the Gold Coast to the market through McVay Real Estate with vacant possession. Ralan bought the hotel in March 2015 from the Zagame and Pellicano families for $75 million.

Knight Frank agents said existing properties on the Sapphire site include a range of housing types, such as typical tropical beach homes, duplexes and vacant land for the construction of new homes and apartments befitting the location.

“This is a truly unique and diverse opportunity – there is no similar offering in the marketplace – and we urge all parties to consider participating in submitting an offer,” Witheriff said.

“The intent of this offering is to provide a broad range of opportunities within the city block and recognise both the immediate development potential of the various properties and its highly desirable and liveable location.”

Branch said interest is anticipated to come from major developers, as well as individuals looking for a slice of land in Budds Beach, following increased focus on the recognised seaside village precincts along the east coast.

The properties are within walking distance to central Surfers Paradise beachfront and all of its amenity. Including patrolled beaches and cycling/walking paths and multiple retail and dining options.

The Sapphire site is being offered for sale in whole or in parts by formal tender closing on 28th November.