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The Gold Coast Bulletin, Saturday February 1st 2014 reported “Locals win battle to down-size proposed Kirra Beach Hotel development”.
The company behind the redevelopment of the Kirra Beach Hotel have bowed to public pressure and shaved the height of its ambitious two-tower proposal. Ridge Properties Pty Ltd, linked to Queensland business identities Brian and Peggy Flannery, have submitted revised plans to see the number of apartments reduced from 249 to 147 and the height of the two towers from 25 storeys to 14, and 15 storeys to 10. The total number of apartment bedrooms under the new bid would drop from 417 in the original design to 237 and the floor area would reduce by 14,785sq m.
The Bulletin has been told the project was unlikely to go ahead under the original plan. The initial proposal attracted 26 formal objections and a 140 letters of support from local residents and the business community.
Mayor Tom Tate said the developers had kept the character of the original design and transformed it into something that would have greater community appeal. “They have listened to the people and I believe it is a great outcome,” he said. “I will be backing this development.”
Ridge Properties executive manager Drew Steptoe said the redevelopment of the Kirra Hotel site, in Marine Parade, was crucial to the future growth and renewal of the southern Gold Coast. “We have revised our original plans after discussions with council officers and also communication with a relatively small number of nearby residents, who had concerns and we believe the new design will get support,” he said. “The redevelopment of this site, one of the largest and best located development sites left on the Gold Coast, will be the spark for a renaissance in the southern part of the city.
“It is crucial to the future prosperity of the southern Gold Coast as there is very little opportunity left to create a residential, retail, tourism and community hub in that part of the city. The Kirra Hotel is the largest remaining site and it occupies such a prominent position. We want to do the site and the southern Gold Coast justice by providing a quality outcome.”
The company purchased the bankrupt and rundown Kirra Hotel in April 2011 and have renovated it into a bustling family friendly tavern that now employs 50 staff. The new development will create several hundred new jobs during and after construction. Mr Steptoe said the revised development “still has uniquely Kirra responsive architecture” that is sympathetic to the area’s history, surf culture and laid-back style. He said it would provide a new community heart linking the beach, Surf Life Saving Club, parks and retail, and provide s confidence boost the southern Gold Coast required.
The revised scheme included a resort hotel with 99 keys and conference facilities, a local convenience retail centre, and a new Kirra Beach Hotel tavern. Mr Steptoe said the revised scheme retained Kirra’s history, surf culture, general ambience and community vibe which had been ‘injected into every aspect of the original development’s design’.