Plaza shock

Lancini pulls plug on CBD shop­ping cen­tre

Townsville Bulletin - - Front Page - Busi­ness edi­tor Tony Rag­gatt tony. rag­gatt@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

PLANS for a $ 200 mil­lion en­ter­tain­ment and re­tail de­vel­op­ment in the CBD have been rocked by moves from Townsville de­vel­oper Lau­rence Lancini to dis­pose of his in­ter­est in the pro­ject and prime city prop­erty. The move could mean the loss to Mr Lancini of mil­lions of dol­lars worth of prop­erty and al­most cer­tainly would sever his com­pany’s in­volve­ment in what was to be the $ 200 mil­lion Flin­ders Plaza pro­ject in Flin­ders St.

‘‘ I’m ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed,’’ Mr Lancini said yes­ter­day.

‘‘ The sit­u­a­tion I’m in now is very up­set­ting for me and a real loss for Townsville.

‘‘ Five years ago when I owned one of the build­ings I went out to try and find a ma­jor de­vel­oper to come in and do a ma­jor pro­ject in the city.

‘‘ I thought it was a real coup for Townsville. Hope­fully down the track when the world ( econ­omy) turns around, we’ll find a large group to get in­volved and come in and do the de­vel­op­ment ( this site) de­serves.’’

Asked how it would af­fect the Lancini Group, Mr Lancini con­ceded it could amount to a mil­lion­dol­lar loss but one that would not af­fect his com­pa­nies.

‘‘ It will have no ef­fect on the Lancini Group as­sets or busi­ness,’’ he said. The Lancini Group, a de­vel­oper in Townsville for 30 years and now a ma­jor player in prop­erty de­vel­op­ment, is­sued a state­ment yes­ter­day set­ting out the rea­sons for the di­vest­ment.

NO AL­TER­NA­TIVE: The Flin­ders St Mall rede­vel­op­ment, Flin­ders Cen­tral is near­ing the end It claims the con­duct of j o i n t v e n t u r e p a r t n e r , Aus­texx re­tail group sub­sidiary Aus­texx Cor­pora t i o n Pt y Lt d , l e f t Mr Lancini and his Lancini Group direc­tors with no al­ter­na­tive but to bring their in­volve­ment to an end.

The direc­tors of Aus­texx Cor­po­ra­tion in­clude em­bat­tled Di­rect Fac­tory Outl et own­ers David Gold­berger and Aus­texx man­agi n g d i r e c t o r F r a n k De Rango.

Mr Lancini en­tered into a joint ven­ture agree­ment with Aus­texx Cor­po­ra­tion i n 2007 t o ac­quire and re­de­velop a se­ries of CBD prop­er­ties i n a pro­ject known as Flin­ders Plaza.

A com­pany called Flin­ders Plaza Pty Ltd was in­cor­po­rated to fa­cil­i­tate the de­vel­op­ment and it is this en­tity which holds ti­tle to the prop­er­ties in al­most an en­tire city block bounded by Flin­ders, Stokes, Sturt

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