03/02/2011 - 00:00

Room for more at Scarborough

03/02/2011 - 00:00

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WHILE the only way is up for developments in Scarborough – with at least five buildings above eight stories approved late last year – the beachside precinct still has some way to go before its transformation as modern tourism district is complete.

Room for more at Scarborough

WHILE the only way is up for developments in Scarborough – with at least five buildings above eight stories approved late last year – the beachside precinct still has some way to go before its transformation as modern tourism district is complete.

Last year’s tick of approval for the projects is a sign of renewed confidence in the area, which was the subject of heavy speculation by developers early last decade when several high-rise projects were planned but did not go ahead – in part due to height restrictions placed on coastal developments.

Scarborough has also been plagued by anti-social behaviour, which the Stirling City Council is hoping to subdue with its $53 million ongoing transformation plan for the public spaces.

The biggest of the private projects approved by the council late last year is at the White Sands Tavern site, a one-hectare property on the eastern side of West Coast Highway, which will be home to three 12-storey towers containing 170 residential units, 71 short-stay units and commercial space.

The $20 million development is a joint venture with John Crane’s Melbourne-based development group CraneCorp and Singapore’s Chip Eng Seng Corporation.

Nearby, on Hastings Street, an eight-storey, 49-unit development was also approved. Up West Coast Highway, north of the Rendezvous Hotel, Bluewater Living and Zuideveld Marchant Hur have been given the green light for an eight-storey building with 34 units.

Among the few projects completed in the past decade was Cape Bouvard’s Cevue at the southern end of the precinct. Cevue was recently finished and the majority of the approximately 80 units have been sold. It is seeking to sell about 20 remaining units.

Cape Bouvard, owned by the Sarich family, has two other development sites nearby on the esplanade, one across the road from Cevue and another a short distance to the south.

It is not known when Cape Bouvard might embark on these developments.

A spokesman said that Cevue, like other major apartment developments, had had its fair share of settlement problems but the main issue facing buyers – many of whom were from the surrounding districts – was the need to sell their existing homes in what is proving to be a tough residential market.

It is understood the owner of Rendezvous is looking at a fresh proposal to refurbish the hotel and develop the land around the existing building, after plans to turn the tower into residential apartments were knocked back by council last year.

Another site to have been the subject of past speculation is the Lombardo family’s Scarborough Fair Markets, which is at the heart of the precinct. There is no talk of anything imminent despite many locals believing the site is a key to the area’s future.

Apart from projects approved, there are several other developments applications in with council across the area. Observers suggest the jury is out as to how many of those approved or proposed will go ahead in the near future given the uncertain market conditions.

One of the owners of centrally located West Beach Lagoon tourism accommodation business, John Booth, expects development to remain quiet for a while yet.

“Scarborough is in a state of flux at moment,” Mr Booth said.

 

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