Chinese investor pulls plug on Marina deal
SYDNEY- BASED developer Grant Shang has pulled out of the contractual agreement to buy the Port Douglas Marina because of legal due diligence.
The conditional sale was confirmed earlier this month and Mr Shang had paid Meridien a deposit, however the sale has now fallen through.
Mr Shang, who developed the world-famous Shenyang Road Antique Market in Tianjin, northeast China, was looking at investing in Australia for the first time.
It is understood Mr Shang planned to leverage his purchase of the marina to raise capital from other overseas investors to fund a proposed $300 million luxury boutique hotel, residential and marina complex.
The Federal Government’s new Significant Investor Visa scheme was a major incentive for Mr Shang because it gave permanent entry visas to individuals investing more than $5 million over four years and would have made his proposed development more attractive to overseas investors.
The visa initiative scraps requirements for overseas investors to sit an English test, there are no age limits and family members are allowed to apply for residency.
Port Douglas Marina managing director Russell McCart said the marina was never sold and refused to comment further.
But Tourism Think Tank Chairman Don Morris, who helped broker the deal with Mr Shang, said there were ‘‘plenty of other potential suitors’’ for the marina and there was still a chance Mr Shang would return to the negotiating table.
Mr Shang is overseas and unavailable for comment.
Meanwhile, the matter of converting the marina to freehold has not been settled yet with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines waiting to hear back from Meridien about the department’s offers.
Meridien was granted an extension until April 30 to meet the department’s offer.