Strand now hotspot

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - TONY RAGGATT busi­ness editor tony. raggatt@ news. com. au

CHI­NESE in­vestors are eye­ing prop­er­ties on Townsville’s Strand as in­ter­na­tional buy­ers look North for de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties as they be­come scarce in cap­i­tal cities.

A group of Chi­nese in­vestors is ac­tively look­ing at a mo­tel prop­erty on The Strand, which could be the first sale in what is ex­pected to be­come a new trend in for­eign in­vest­ment.

Remax Townsville agent Michele Hyde said a lot of Chi­nese peo­ple in­vest­ing in Aus­tralia also wanted to ed­u­cate their chil­dren here, and in James Cook Univer­sity Townsville had one of the world’s top ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions to at­tract them.

“I’m sure we will see more Asian in­vest­ment com­ing in,” Ms Hyde said.

She was also con­fi­dent of more re­de­vel­op­ment of prop­erty along the Strand.

Ms Hyde said con­struc­tion of VEER, a $ 10 mil­lion unit and re­tail pro­ject at 62 The Strand, was set to start this month af­ter six of its eight lux­ury units sold.

It is the first new pro­ject on The Strand in al­most a decade and fol­lows Townsville City Coun­cil in­creas­ing height lim­its to five storeys last year as part of their new town plan.

Knight Frank Townsville man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Craig Stack said Townsville and North Queens­land was likely to at­tract a grow­ing share of Chi­nese in­vest­ment into prop­erty de­vel­op­ment, par­tic­u­larly in tourism.

Some of the most sig­nif­i­cant Chi­nese in­vest­ments in North Queens­land so far have been made in the Whit­sun­days, pri­mar­ily in tourism- re­lated as­sets such as Whis­per Bay and La­guna Quays.

Chi­nese com­pany Nan­jing Con­struc­tion has com­pleted a mul­ti­mil­lion- dol­lar wa­ter­front de­vel­op­ment at Whis­per Bay, while the Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil last year ac­cepted a ten­der from Whit­sun­day Chi­na­town In­vest­ment to buy a $ 2.5 mil­lion block of coun­cil- owned land at Air­lie Beach to de­velop a ho­tel, short- term ac­com­mo­da­tion and about 100 shops and restau­rants.

Mr Stack ex­pected more Chi­nese in­vest­ment, par­tic­u­larly as the op­por­tu­ni­ties for new de­vel­op­ment be­came more scarce in the cap­i­tal cities.

He said the fo­cus was more likely to be tar­geted to­ward tourism or prop­er­ties re­garded as tro­phy as­sets.

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