Build it and they will come

Whitsunday Times - - FEATURE -

CLIF­FORD Hill is cer­tainly a sur­vivor.

He has come out fight­ing af­ter two plane crashes, two se­ri­ous car ac­ci­dents and an in­ci­dent that saw him nearly lose his arm.

He has also sur­vived fi­nan­cial ruin, los­ing ev­ery­thing in the 1980s as a re­sult of record in­ter­est rate hikes and mak­ing some poor fi­nan­cial de­ci­sions that cost him dearly.

Pen­ni­less, he re­mem­bers with clar­ity the mo­ment he de­cided to get his life back on track.

"I was living on the Gold Coast and I was so broke I would go down to Fish­er­man's Wharf at night with a cast net and catch fish to eat," he says laugh­ing at the thought.

"I started tak­ing them to a lo­cal restau­rant. They would cook up the fish and pro­vide me with drinks. It was dur­ing this time that I re­alised this was not how I wanted my life to be."

Af­ter ex­ten­sive re­search, Mr Hill iden­ti­fied the Whit­sun­days as hav­ing enor­mous po­ten­tial for growth.

He went to the bank for a loan and used that to build a spec [dis­play] home.

This was the start he needed and he put ev­ery­thing he had into build­ing his busi­ness back up, work­ing 6-7 days a week.

"I fell in love with the Whit­sun­days and de­cided that this was where I wanted my fu­ture - and my busi­ness - to be, and that is what I have done," Mr Hill said, who has al­ways lived in one of his own houses and still does to this day.

Twenty-one years later and hav­ing built more than 1000 homes in the area, Mr Hill feels he has done what he set out to achieve.

But he is cer­tainly not about to stop.

He has big plans for Colony Build­ing Group and con­tin­ues to de­velop land in the re­gion.

Past and present land de­vel­op­ments have in­cluded Whit­sun­day Acres, Mount Whit­sun­day, Whit­sun­day Val­ley Views, Ade­laide Point, near Bowen, and a sub­di­vi­sion at Hy­de­away Bay.

He also owns a site next to Whit­sun­day Plaza Shop­ping Cen­tre that al­ready has a devel­op­ment ap­proval.

BEAU­TI­FUL HOMES: Kate, Stu­art, Erin and Ri­ley Ap­ple­gate at their Can­non­vale home with Colony Homes' Clif­ford Hill.

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