South Molle Is­land Re­sort on the mar­ket

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Lucy Smith

AN­OTHER Whit­sun­day is­land re­sort will be on the mar­ket in com­ing weeks, with the an­nounce­ment about the sale of South Molle made last Thurs­day. In­side to­day: The story be­hind the sale of South Molle An up­date on all our Whit­sun­day is­land re­sorts And what Steven Miles, Min­is­ter for the Great Bar­rier Reef, has to say about get­ting our dor­mant re­sorts up and run­ning.

THE Whit­sun­days’ South Molle Is­land will be on the mar­ket in com­ing weeks, and in­ter­na­tional and Aus­tralian buy­ers are ex­pected to be in­ter­ested.

The 4.66 square kilo­me­tre is­land is home to a 200-room re­sort and na­tional park.

The is­land lease is cur­rently held by tourism op­er­a­tor Craig Ross, of Qld Is­land Re­sorts Pty Ltd.

He has held the lease since March 1998.

JLL Ho­tels and Hos­pi­tal­ity Group’s Peter Harper and Tate Stubbs, based in Syd­ney, are man­ag­ing the is­land’s sale.

“The abil­ity to ac­quire the per­pet­ual lease­hold in­ter­est in South Molle Is­land presents an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity to se­cure one of the last large-scale is­land de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Great Bar­rier Reef,” Mr Harper said. “It’s cer­tainly the pre­mium sale of­fer­ing in this part of the world at present and we ex­pect global in­vestors and de­vel­op­ers to act ac­cord­ingly.”

Mr Stubbs said he would not com­ment on the is­land’s value, but said for­mal mar­ket­ing was ex­pected to be­gin this week, fol­lowed by a five-week pe­riod where in­vestors could lodge ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est.

PRD­na­tion­wide Whit­sun­day prin­ci­pal Christie Leet said he was not sur­prised South Molle was go­ing to mar­ket.

“The owner’s been think­ing for a while when’s the best time to put it on the mar­ket,” he said.

“He’s been ap­proached sev­eral times by dif­fer­ent buy­ers, so I’m guess­ing he thinks now’s the best time to crys­tallise some­thing.”

Mr Leet is man­ag­ing the sale of the ad­join­ing Long Is­land. Ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est for this is­land will close on May 12.

Ray White Whit­sun­day prin­ci­pal Mark Beale said with a re­cent boost in tourist num­bers to the Whit­sun­day re­gion, there would likely be a lot of buyer in­ter­est in South Molle.

“Given the cur­rent sta­tus of tourism num­bers, it’s an ex­cel­lent time for them to put it on the mar­ket,” he said.

“There’ll be some in­ter­na­tional buy­ers, par­tic­u­larly from Asia, and some Aus­tralian chains.”

Tourism Whit­sun­days chair Allen Grundy said South Molle Is­land’s nat­u­ral and rugged beauty set it apart from other is­lands in the re­gion.

“The bush walks are amaz­ing … the views from the top (of the is­land) are mind­blow­ing,” he said.

“Re­de­vel­op­ment of South Molle Is­land would be won­der­ful for tourism and the Whit­sun­days.”

Photo: Inset by Heli­

FOR SALE: Global in­vestors and de­vel­op­ers will have a keen in­ter­est in the sale of South Molle Is­land.

LINDEMAN IS­LAND: A draft en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact state­ment is set to be re­leased in June for a $500-$600 mil­lion over­haul of the for­mer Club Med re­sort.

LONG IS­LAND: Ocean Ho­tels has Long Is­land Re­sort on the mar­ket. It’s ex­pected to fetch $15-20 mil­lion, and has been closed since Fe­bru­ary 2015.

HAMIL­TON IS­LAND: Wine­maker Bob Oat­ley pur­chased the is­land in 2003 and op­er­ates most of the ac­com­mo­da­tion.

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