While precinct development plans are all the rage in Australia, one of Queensland’s largest-scale projects has just been axed by its Singapore-based developer.
The $4.9 billion Wavebreak cruise ship, residential, marine and tourist precinct plans had been planned for the Gold Coast with a view to add 264,500 visitors to the coast by its 2018 completion date. It was expected to be ready in time for the Commonwealth Games.
According to the original plans by developer Sembawang, the precinct was slated to include two cruise ship terminals, a 400-berth marina, a 12-superyacht berth, 1,500 hotel rooms, a theatre, aquarium, retail and restaurant spaces and a casino.
”The project would be one of the largest undertaken on Australia’s Eastern Seaboard,” said Sembawang upon the proposal’s unveiling. “Economic projections indicate Wavebreak would generate approximately 19,000 positions for the construction sector.”
Although the proposal offered great economic promise, one part of the plan left some Queensland government members reluctant to commit. The casino, which Sembawang chief executive Ric Grosvenor said was a critical component to the ‘world class’ development’s success, was met with resistance by Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, who suggested it be located elsewhere.
After months of consideration, Grosvenor has broken off development plans labeling the plans’ developmental progression a ‘great error of personal judgement.’
The scrapping of the major project has been derided as an economically unwise decision by some, but the importance of governmental approval and support in all matters of precinct development is paramount. Precinct development still remains a top priority and a lucrative business on a national scale, with planning and approval processes remaining as rigorous as ever.
While this particular prominent and promising development has been scrapped, it is not as though Sembawang’s decision is guaranteed to hamstring the area. Two other tender interests for Wavebreak Island remain, so taking the notion of precinct development on the site has not been taken completely off the table.