Chinese-owned John Holland is poised to take a stake in the new Maroochydore city centre in a deal worth more than $200 million.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson joined with representatives of John Holland, the University of the Sunshine Coast and SunCentral Maroochydore Pty Ltd to confirm that a Memorandum of Understanding had been agreed between the parties and that exclusive negotiations were now underway to develop multiple lots in the city centre.
“To have a tier one property developer with an international track record of the calibre of John Holland seeking a significant stake in the new Maroochydore city centre is a huge vote of confidence in the future of the Sunshine Coast,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“We are creating Australia’s first truly smart city for the 21st Century – one which will generate thousands of construction jobs, more than 15,000 permanent jobs and provide a $4.4 billion boost for the local economy.
Sunshine Coast Council has already committed to having its primary civic presence in the core commercial precinct.
“This will include customer service facilities, a council chamber and work space accommodation for staff and councillors, although we will continue to maintain a decentralised work force at Caloundra and Nambour,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Our council represents the whole region and will always ensure it maintains a strong presence in major centres like Nambour and Caloundra, in the interests of accessibility to our customers and our community.
“But equally it is important that our presence in Maroochydore is consolidated and housed in a corporate headquarters in our new city centre.”
John Holland CEO Joe Barr said the Maroochydore CBD development was a landmark project which would leave a legacy for future generations on the Sunshine Coast.
Barr said the company believed the city centre had enormous potential as one of the nation’s fastest growing regions just 10 minutes from Australia’s newest international airport, due to open in late 2020.
University of the Sunshine Coast Vice-Chancellor Greg Hill said the university was participating in the exclusive negotiations with John Holland, the council and SunCentral with a view to a future presence in the Maroochydore city centre, which may include a combination of student accommodation, teaching and community spaces.
“This is an exciting opportunity and, after working together for 20 years, our partnership with Sunshine Coast Council is being taken to a new level,” Professor Hill said.
SunCentral Chairperson Dr Doug McTaggart said submissions had been received from companies across a range of sectors since expressions of interest in the core commercial precinct opened last year.
“The core commercial precinct in the Maroochydore city centre includes lots for commercial office buildings, retail space and approximately 600 residential apartments, as well as a new waterway, parks and plazas,” McTaggart said.
John Holland’s submission could see the company awarded development rights over key commercial lots currently in the market.