Yaroomba Beach.
Yaroomba Beach. Alexia Purcell

Plans for $1.1 billion development overshadow Clive's hotel

A $1.1 BILLION development proposed for beachfront land at Yaroomba would include 2300 apartments, 300 detached houses, a 450-room six-star hotel and 35,000 square metres of retail and recreational space.

Detail emerged yesterday of Sekisui House's proposal for beachfront land opposite the Palmer Coolum Resort.

The huge Japanese company, which is based in Osaka, has been briefing State Government ministers and councillors about the proposal for the past six months.

The development is a major shift from the master plan for the 33.2ha of land, which may eventually accommodate more than 5000 people.

Apartment buildings would have a maximum height of 12 storeys with the majority at six storeys.

The company is convinced that with appropriate setbacks none of the structures would be visible from the beach.

To be staged over 15 years construction would include a new surf life saving club to service tourists and residents.

The 450-room resort proposal would seek to deliver the service standards set by the Hyatt's previous management of what is now the Palmer Coolum Resort.

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson said he welcomed the interest of "one of the world's premier residential development companies with a commitment to building sustainable communities".

"A major resort would be a significant boost to jobs, our economy and confidence in this region and I look forward to seeing the company's official proposal come before council,'' Cr Jamieson said.

"This proposal would be subject to a planning assessment process involving community consultation and consideration of things like the appropriate scale, bulk and form of development."

The shift away from the high-end housing development currently in place is believed to have been driven by market realities and the

assessment that the region's anticipated 200,000 population growth will look increasingly to apartment living.

Real estate agents say the price of 450sq m non-beachfront lots have been slashed by $100,000 in the past week to about $330,000 with the last resale achieving only $310,000.

Prices of beachfront lots have been cut from $800,000 to $500,000.

Member for Maroochydore, Fiona Simpson, said she believed some of the detail in the development proposal was not final and there may be variations in the number of dwellings.

But she said to achieve densities and retain natural appeal would require structures to go up.

Ms Simpson said the briefing she had been given was that there would be significant setbacks from the beach and neighbouring properties.

A government spokesman failed to address questions regarding whether it might use its call-in powers to assess the development.

He said the Sunshine Coast draft planning scheme, which does not allow for the development, was still with council.

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