Unit project sig­nals re­turn of high-flyer af­ter GFC col­lapse

The Weekend Post - - Front Page - CHRIS CALCINO

FOR­MER con­struc­tion mogul Tom Hed­ley (left) is back in the de­vel­op­ment game.

De­spite the spec­tac­u­lar col­lapse of his em­pire in 2009, the pub owner has re­vealed plans for an apart­ment project in the Cairns CBD.

FOR­MER high-pro­file de­vel­oper Tom Hed­ley is back with his first Cairns apart­ment block project since his ex­ten­sive prop­erty and pub em­pire’s col­lapse in 2009.

The for­mer plumber, who shot to riches but later fell quickly, is qui­etly dip­ping his toes back into mid-level de­vel­op­ments with a 16-unit apart­ment com­plex in McLeod St the first project on the books.

“Bar­ra­mundi Tom”, so nick­named for his rep­u­ta­tion as a hard-fight­ing ne­go­tia­tor, is keep­ing out of the lime­light and del­e­gat­ing calls from the

Cairns Post to de­vel­op­ment man­ager An­drew Der­ring­ton.

“He’s def­i­nitely get­ting in­volved,” Mr Der­ring­ton said.

“He’s very hands-on with the prod­uct that we’re look­ing to put out in the mar­ket­place.

“Ob­vi­ously, he’s got a dis­tinct style in terms of hav­ing open spa­ces and tai­lor­ing it to the North­ern Aus­tralian life­style.”

Mr Hed­ley will over­see the project un­der the ban­ner of de­vel­op­ment com­pany Group 1, reg­is­tered in June last year.

An ASIC com­pany search re­veals Mr Hed­ley, who is listed as liv­ing near Vic­to­rian city Bendigo, shares di­rec­tor­ship with busi­ness part­ner Bruce McDon­ald, who also serves along­side Mr Hed­ley on the Cairns Jockey Club com­mit­tee.

He is also di­rec­tor of the Red Beret Ho­tel at Red­lynch, shar­ing di­rec­tor­ship with Jea­nine Cooke, also a Cairns Jockey Club com­mit­tee mem­ber.

Group 1 has other de­vel­op­ments planned for Cairns, but Mr Der­ring­ton was keep­ing quiet about them for now.

“That’s the en­tity tak­ing the path­way, putting these de­vel­op­ment types on the mar­ket,” he said. “This is the first one back in Cairns we’re work­ing on un­der the Group 1 ban­ner.

“We do (have more in the pipe­line), but I can’t tell you too much about those ones at this stage.”

The five-level McLeod St apart­ments would be built on vacant land about 500m from Cairns Cen­tral Shop­ping Cen­tre, with a mix­ture of three and four-bed­room apart­ments.

Mr Der­ring­ton said it would fea­ture a com­mu­nal out­door bar­be­cue area.

“There is a lot of em­pha­sis on the de­sign, mak­ing sure it’s got pas­sive cross-flows and good stor­age and large alfresco ar­eas and all the park­ing is ob­vi­ously Q100,” he said.

“I imag­ine there will be a fair bit of in­vest­ment in­ter­est in it as well.”

Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil is yet to tick off the ap­pli­ca­tion.

PLANS: Artist’s im­pres­sions of Tom Hed­ley’s new 16-unit apart­ment de­vel­op­ment planned for McLeod St.

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