City eyesore sells for millions

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ONE of the Gold Coast’s worst bombsites is to be transformed into a premium 30-storey residential tower.

The Oak Building site in Surfers Paradise has been bought by developer Barry Morris after being left vacant and vandalised for five years.

Mr Morris paid $3.96 million for the land on Remembrance Drive, well below the $6.215 million De Cheng Investments shelled out in 2009.

He has already had meetings with Gold Coast City Council planning staff about building a residential high rise on the site.

Mr Morris and his partner Graham Potts, who make up Amalgamated Property Group, are nearing the halfway point for their $70 million, 134-apartment Synergy tower at Broadbeach.

Yesterday Amalgamated and Morris property manager Brodie Lister confirmed the company was keen to begin work on The Oaks site next.

“We are still working through the details,” he said.

“But it is in a good location. There is not much developable land in Surfers.

“We are keen to go ahead as soon as we can get clarity from council.”

There are just nine apartments left for sale in Synergy.

The high rise on The Oaks site is expected to be in the same style as Synergy, where apartments have an average price of $500,000.

“There will be a mix of two and three-bedroom apartments,” Mr Lister said.

“They will be of a good size and well appointed. Livability will be a focus.”

The Surfers project is expected to create up to 360 jobs.

Surfers Councillor Lex Bell is pleased the site is being cleaned up and said he expected the Oak building to be demolished in the near future.

Mr Lister said Amalgamated was also hoping to move forward with high rise plans for Burleigh and Brisbane next year.

“We are quite bullish about Broadbeach, Burleigh and the middle of Brisbane,” he said.

The other high rise projects rolled out by Mr Morris and Mr Potts under Amalgamated include the Element and Ivory buildings on Burleigh’s beachfront and Broadbeach towers Verve and Sierra Grande.

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