Aria Gets Green Light for $350m Mooloolaba Project


Residential developer Aria Property Group has received approval for a landmark 5-star hotel development on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

The developer, led by Tim Forrester, has identified the region for its growth, and lack of five-star hotel accommodation limiting the range of tourists visiting the Sunshine Coast.

The region is also set for massive change through the construction of a new $225 million runway at the local airport which will facilitate direct flights to and from Asia and bolster development of the new CBD in neighbouring Maroochydore.

Aria's latest approval, located at 1 The Esplanade in Mooloolaba —opposite Mooloolaba Surf Club, draws on its previous projects on Brisbane's Edward Street and the emerging Fish Lane precinct.

The 2,591sq m site, including retail and two small stand alone houses, was amalgamated and bought back in 1991 by Rod Forester.

Aria has been working on this project for over a decade and intensively for the last five years.

▲ The landmark project, designed by nationally acclaimed architects Elenberg Fraser incorporates an international standard hotel and resort. Image: Elenberg Fraser

In a tentative lending market, the five-star development will be tailored to owner-occupiers with 66 residential apartments, as well as an international standard hotel comprising of 139 guest rooms.

The developer tapped architecture firm Elenberg Fraser to design the tower, which is located on the last available section of the Mooloolaba Esplanade.

The integrated resort will feature 1,764sq m of retail and restaurants, a day spa, conference facility and publicly accessible roof-top bar and restaurant.

“Both Tim and I grew up in Mooloolaba, and for us it is home,” Aria development director Michael Hurley told The Urban Developer.

“It’s incredibly rare to find a beach within Australia, that’s north facing, protected by the headland, bounded by the spit, river and harbour.

“This combination with an amazing array of beachfront accommodation, quality dining options, retail, amenities and activities already in place creates the perfect mix for anyone to live or holiday in Mooloolaba.”

The project's rooftop will reference iconic buildings like the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, W Hotel Barcelona and One Hotel South Beach Miami.

“We are starting to see and feel a real buzz beginning to happen in town, and you just have to look at the amazing things that the Matt Evans & Dirk Long have done in transforming the Wharf into a thriving retail and dining precinct, SCRC embarking on stage one of the Mooloolaba Masterplan with its new boardwalks and carparks,” Hurley said.

“All of these projects are a real credit to the leadership and vision of the council.”

Speaking at The Urban Developer's annual residential property summit, Hurley said Aria's brand reputation and philosophy for placemaking had allowed it to press forward with high-end developments in challenging market conditions.

Aria now aims to release residential units for sale in 2020 ahead of a 2021 construction start.

Recently, the group established Aria Living, its management rights division. The scheme provides long-term owner-occupied buildings with concierge services as well as communal events.

It also offers complimentary personal training, yoga classes, resident bikes and hotel-type services.

Earlier this year, Aria lodged plans for a 13-storey, 127-apartment residential tower in Brisbane's Kangaroo Point, where Aria Living will be enacted.

The developer also recently completed Valencia in Kangaroo Point and The Drapery in Woolloongabba. The developer also has plans for a 145-apartment tower in West End, designed by Rothelowman.


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