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Plans for Gold Coast’s tallest tower get the green light

By Andrew Bell

Since 2005, the 78-level Q1 tower has stood proud as the tallest building on the Gold Coast, but that’s all about to change with the approval of new plans for the ‘Spirit Tower’.

All 15 city councillors voted a unanimous ‘yes’ to the plans on September 5, setting in to motion the plans and construction of a 89-level tower on the site of the old Iluka Hotel right on the beachfront in Surfers Paradise.

The highest apartments on the Coast

The majority of the Spirit Tower’s floors will be dedicated to apartment living, which will therefore offer city dwellers the chance for some of the best views on the Gold Coast right from their front windows. In total, the 89 storeys will stretch 304 metres into the sky, and will offer 479 apartments.

High rise apartment buildings are one of the solutions to the need for more living space on the Gold Coast, especially with the lack of height restrictions in Surfers, Broadbeach, and Southport.

Additionally, the Spirit Tower, developed by Chinese group Forise Holdings, will feature three floors of retail and entertainment spaces. With a main entrance from The Esplanade and secondary access points on Hanlon and Trickett Streets, these floors will no doubt add extra appeal to the building for residents and visitors alike.

However, there is one contentious point around the height of the tower. While Spirit will offer a full 11 extra floors of apartment living spaces compared with the Q1 just down the road, the Q1 actually features a spire that makes its entire architectural height 322 metres – 18 metres taller than Spirit.

Bulk earthworks have already begun on the site, and viewers can expect to see 345-metre towering cranes slowly make the building a reality in the near future. The foundation plans alone are said to cost $50 million alone, and the entire construction estimate is currently set at $1.1 billion. It’s expected to take four years for 710 workers to complete the tower, during which time investors and buyers will no doubt be considering purchasing valuable apartment space off-the-plan.

The Brisbane Times has already reported on the excitement around the project, including the Gold Coast’s city architect saying that the plans will suit the area well with its slim design and podium-like base for the retail and entertainment floors.

“The proposal is unique, attractive and will enhance the character of the area. The proposal will contribute to the quality of the city’s distinct skyline,” he added.

Perfect timing for Gold Coast apartment demand

The proposal, approval and construction of the Gold Coast Spirit Tower can hardly come quickly enough, as the demand for new apartments on the Gold Coast skyrockets.

A recent Urbis report outlined just how little apartment stock was left throughout the Gold Coast. Lynda Campbell, a senior consultant for Urbis, said that available units had dropped significantly throughout the last quarter.

“Some areas of the Gold Coast have less than three quarters worth of new apartment stock available for sale,” she explained.

For example, the Coastal Fringe had just eight months of product left, while the Southern Beaches offered only five months of stock. Gold Coast Central fared the best with 666 apartments available at the time of writing, yet Ms Campbell pointed out that they were expecting to see “an increase in sales in the coming months which is going to put further pressure on supply of new apartments all along the coast”.

The development of the Spirit Tower is therefore an exciting one for many players, including investors, apartment renters and buyers, construction workers, and Gold Coast residents in general who should see increased economic activity thanks to the investment in coming years. If you’re looking to purchase or rent Gold Coast apartments, get in touch with the team at Ray White today.

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