Top dollar for one old shack
ONE of the last of the original beach shacks built 40 years ago in Airlie Beach has been sold for $565,000.
The quarter-acre block (1000sqm) in Beach Road — one minute’s walk from Cannonvale beach — was snapped up by local architect Ken Down who will expand plans drawn up for the two neighbouring blocks for prestige residential units.
The block was put on the market in May at $650,000 but Joel McBride, of PRD Nationwide, said it drew little response from potential buyers.
‘‘When it went on the market, I contacted Mr Down knowing he had the neighbouring blocks and had approval to build 12-14 units on them,’’ Mr McBride said.
‘‘He wasn’t interested at the original asking price and, after some negotiation over a couple of months, the owner settled on the $565,000 offer,’’ Mr McBride said.
Wade Johnson, an architect with Mr Down’s company, said new plans would be drawn up for the three blocks.
‘‘They’ll be known as Kahula, after a prestigious Hawaiian development, and some will have sea views.
‘‘They will be a mixture of twoand three-bedroom units, and will be designed to have a nice tropical theme in keeping with the area,’’ Mr Johnson said.
Construction is expected to start mid-2007.
Mr McBride said the price was on a par with other recent sales nearby but was considerably cheaper than a beachfront home which sold for $1.1 million.
But the price shows how land values have skyrocketed in Airlie Beach — the original owner, retired Proserpine businessman Bernie Lewis, paid six pounds ($12) for the block in the 1960s.
He cleared the block and built a two-bedroom fibro house in his spare time.
‘‘Getting materials in was not a problem as Reg Ansett was just developing Hamilton Island and had the main road built from the highway,’’ he said.
‘‘The Lands Department had put up the land for six pounds a quarter-acre block but no-one turned up for the auction. I got the block a bit later.
‘‘You have to remember it was all just bush then. There was no Airlie or Shute Harbour back then.
‘‘I wanted to put up some flats but the council knocked the permit back. I was told there was no future in tourism in Airlie!
‘‘I ended up selling it years ago to put the money into the business,’’ Mr Lewis said.
SOME SHACK . . . architect Wade Johnson and PRD’s Joel McBride shake on the $565,000 deal for one of the last Airlie beach shacks