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I don't usually make a thread for developments until we have a bit more information, but a Gold Coast Bulletin article is making this an exception.

Back at the start of 2013, the Sisters of Mercy put the former Star of the Sea Convent site in Southport up for sale. It is a very large site with potential for a multi-building redevelopment. Dime posted the original article in the GC News thread a while back:

Sisters set their sights sky high

http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2013/02/20/447511_gold-coast-business.html

A CATHOLIC religious order, whose members vow to serve the poor and needy, are behind a plan to build a massive high-rise complex in Southport that is likely to become an education hub.

The Sisters of Mercy own a prime development site fronting Marine Parade and the Southport Mall and are investigating possible uses for the holding, which is not subject to height limits.

Part of the 2ha parcel is occupied by Central Queensland University's Gold Coast campus and was originally the site of the order's convent.

The other portion houses the old Commonwealth Bank building and was purchased by the Sisters for $2.8 million last year because it adjoined the first property.

Sisters of Mercy development manager Cameron Feltham said the order was talking to a variety of parties about the land and favoured the idea of constructing a high-rise complex to house schools and universities.

"Ideally we would like to create an education precinct there," he said.

Through the Corporation of the Trustees of the Order of the Sisters of Mercy, the order owns six property holdings across the Gold Coast region and more than 100 around the state.

The Sisters would be free to redevelop the Southport site from next year after the CQU lease expires -- and the university has already announced plans to quit the Coast.

Mr Feltham said the order was going down the path of an education centre because there was an oversupply of apartments on the Gold Coast.

"We would not rule out having some commercial space in the development," he said.

"But at this stage the only residential accommodation would be affordable apartments for students."

The organisation wants to have a deal in place with an anchor tenant before moving ahead with development of the site.

One possible tenant could be Gold Coast TAFE, which is eyeing options for its Southport campus.

Mr Feltham said he would also be interested to talk with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation about using the building for the athletes' village in five years time, or utilising the building in its own right as staff numbers expanded to 1000 closer to the event.

"There is a lot of talk about Parklands not being the best site," he said.

"This would be another option to consider.

"We would be happy to house the athletes and officials or to be the base for the Commonwealth Games organisation itself in the lead-up to the event."

Mr Feltham said the land ranked among the Gold Coast's premier development sites.
This is the site itself:






This morning, on the Gold Coast Bulletin, there is a story about a Chinese Developer who is buying the site for upwards of $25 million as his first Australian project. He is proposing to turn the site "into a resort and lifestyle precinct that will feature high-rise towers with shopping and dining precincts, office space and education *facilities alongside resort *accommodation and permanent-living apartments."

Chinese developer Mr Cao will build landmark project on former Southport Star of the Sea convent

JENNY ROGERS & MARTIN RASINI GOLD COAST BULLETIN MAY 16, 2014 7:17AM
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Southport will be the site of a landmark development. Source: News Limited

HE spent months searching Australia for the perfect site to create a multimillion-dollar lifestyle development.

In the end, Chinese developer, Mr Cao, chose Southport as the place to create a landmark project which will see the suburb’s renaissance scale new heights.

The property developer is believed to be paying upwards of $25 million for the former Southport home of the Star of the Sea convent which was placed on the market by the Catholic religious order.

His company, Xi’an WenHua Industrial Co, based in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province, acquired the landholding, apparently through Australian arm, Garuda GC Corporation.

Mr Cao now plans to transform the 1.5ha site into a resort and lifestyle precinct that will feature high-rise towers with shopping and dining precincts, office space and education facilities alongside resort accommodation and permanent-living apartments.

A property industry source said the project would “outshine all other developments in the Southport CBD.”


Historical photo of Star of the Sea Catholic Girls School in Southport. Source: News Limited *This early convent building no longer exists on the site, being redeveloped in the 1950s – Nathan*

“It will be one of the largest employment generators the city has seen and will revitalise the suburb,” the source said.

Southport councillor Dawn Crichlow said the development would breathe new life into the heart of the suburb.

“I think this is the most iconic site on the Gold Coast and it is going to be an absolutely fantastic development,” Cr Crichlow said.

“It is opposite the Aquatic Centre which will host Commonwealth Games swimming events, will have direct access to the Nerang Mall and I would love to see it eventually connected to the Broadwater Parklands by a bridge.

“This is exactly what we are looking for as part of the Priority Development Area designation for Southport.”

Cr Crichlow said the developer had settled on Southport for his first Australian foray because of its proximity to exclusive education facilities St Hilda’s and The Southport School, the Chinatown precinct and light-rail project.

She said the developer was so impressed with the Chinatown project he had decided to donate a paifang, or gateway, that will be erected at the entrance to the precinct.

Mr Cao’s daughter also has purchased a home in Southport’s prominent TSS precinct.

“He was attracted to the area as a great base for his daughter and grandchildren,” Cr Crichlow said.

Developer’s amazing Chinese *projects. Business, Page 36
I think this will be a very important site to watch over the coming few years. The article has filled me with confidence, I just hope I'm not disappointed.

PS: If anyone reads the GC Bulletin, any chance of a scan of Page 36?
 

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This project suddenly got very exciting. Pictures from today's GC Bulletin showing the plans for the site:





The render shows the boutique retail section that would be located at the northern part of the site. The plazas, Bar Street, Art Laneway and the restaurant areas all interest me very much. This project could end up being the perfect way to lure the public from ANZAC Park into the CBD. At the moment it isn't easy to get from Broadwater Parklands into the CBD area but you can see this project clearly shows plans for a major pedestrian crossing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
^^ It's a good start! The DA, from memory, was for a preliminary layout and, proof of concept I guess you would call it. The actual design of the buildings themselves will be subject to future development approvals.

The Star of the Sea is a very important site, and it will be great to see a worthy development done on it. Even better if it includes some reference to the long heritage that the Sisters of Mercy have had not just with the site, but Southport on a whole.
 

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This is a great site to build something like Soul or Circle on Cavil

But taller and more futuristic

A gleaming curvy tower with a twist :)
 

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This sounds promising, well, Southport is earmarked for tallies so let's test that out, no need to be shy here!
 
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The for lease sign has gone up on the old convent this must be a long term project the pic was taken today 23/12/2014.
 

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No news but it just struck me that this site is within the 500m PAN-OPS.

Oh gosh, hope they end up going really tall here, not many sites that have such a good PAN-OPS.
 
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Nice. I'm hoping for Australia's tallest tower with no spire. 400m+ would be a bonus ;)
 

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Well it would be nice, I mean an area designated by council for unlimited height, great PAN-OPS, fast track application process, this a rare thing in Australia.
 

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^^Add to that, a city where a building of that height is possible economically.
 

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Anyone know what's going on with this one? The initial plans were approved by council back in September 2014 but the Star of the Sea building hasn't even been knocked down nearly a year and a half later. Perhaps they decided to wait and will resubmit now that the new city plan is about to kick in? It's a really important site so you'd like to hope they are planning something special...
 

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From what I understand, the Structure Plan has been approved. We will still need to await development applications for individual buildings.
 

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The site is currently for lease. So I would be surprised if something were to happen soon.
 

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Southport really big talls sort of seem to be on a slow burn. Would love to see Cienna get cracking soon as well because 250m+ in Southport will look epic.
 

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And here's the skyline with Star of the Sea added, which is in the CASA 500m zone and mooted to be a potential tallest, it's rendered here at 400m. Sienna is nearby.

The building shape is based on the footprints in the DA:









 

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What chance are these of being built at that height?
 
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Who knows, pretty sure this is a supertall but what variety remains to be seen.
 
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Good to see that. Looks a bit tall for that site. Would be at happy with 330m. Or even less tbh. If it was further back from the parklands, near cienna, then go 400m. But with nothing else around it, it does look out of place at that height.

Thanks for all the models, good to see what some of these actually look like in situ.
 
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