South Molle Island Resort on the market
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.”
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.