Derelict homes torn down by developer
FAST-moving Melbourne developer Tim Gurner, who four weeks ago unveiled plans for a "world-first" $600 million Surfers Paradise project, is delivering squatters a knockout blow.
He and development partner Wingate started demolishing derelict houses on their 1.2ha Budds Beach site on Friday.
The move was described as a bid to make the area immediately more safe and secure for the surrounding neighbours.
The high-profile Budds Beach site, at 11-19 Pine Avenue, previously was owned by the collapsed Ralan group and approved for twin towers.
A Gurner spokesperson said that since the Ralan project was abandoned, the houses on the site had fallen into the hands of squatters, with violence and drug deals becoming commonplace.
"The Gurner group and Wingate were only unveiled as joint-venture partners last month but have immediately set about bringing forward demolition of the derelict houses.
"Demolition of a site of this size usually wouldn't start until plans for the new redevelopment had been approved.
"However, such is the developer's commitment to the neighbouring community and the ambitious vision for the site that Gurner is forging ahead with early demolition in order to make the community safe."
The 38-year-old Mr Gurner yesterday said the site had been sitting empty for some time and the existing buildings had fallen into disrepair.
"The residents deserve some assurances that the new precinct will be delivered, not in 10 years, not in five years, but imminently.
"We are here to deliver this assurance.
"We want to create something truly special for the Gold Coast that the community can be proud of and so, by starting demolition, we want to show the residents that we are committed to this vision."
Cr Darren Taylor said it was a fantastic outcome for the residents of Budds Beach and Surfers Paradise overall.
"Today signifies the importance of communication between government and the private sector while listening to the community, local stakeholders and acting in the best interest of Surfers Paradise," he said.
The Budds Beach site is approved for twin towers with 999 apartments.
Gurner and Wingate are undertaking a complete re-design to deliver a multi-tower precinct including high-end residential, family-focused resort living, and hotel and retail components.
Originally published as Derelict homes torn down by developer