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Citywalk hits a snag

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Source: www.gcbulletin.com.au

THE developers behind Dreamworld were yesterday accused of providing an 'ill-conceived and self-centred' development application, in conflict with the long-term vision for the burgeoning suburb of Coomera. Macquarie Leisure Trust, the owner of Dreamworld, did not rule out legal action after the council's planning committee rejected its shopping centre proposal, claiming it would 'stifle' the area's development. Planning chairman Cr Ted Shepherd said it would have been 'morally wrong' to approve the centre, calling on the developers to instead provide an integrated retail, commercial and residential precinct on the Foxwell Road site. "Coomera is the next big growth area for the city it's going to outstrip anything else we've ever thought of before so we really need to get it right first time," said Cr Shepherd. "I think its ill-conceived what they are asking for is a stand-alone shopping centre that will fall into a much larger precinct and that's not right." Coomera Town Centre will be the Gold Coast's critical growth area over the next decade, eventually housing almost 70,000 people. The 60ha area will ultimately evolve into a satellite city that will dwarf Robina with its retail, commercial and residential hubs. Macquarie had proposed a shopping centre half the size of Pacific Fair for its site adjacent to its theme park including cinemas, supermarkets, a childcare centre and other retail tenancies. Across the road, Coomera Resort an arm of Japanese developer Hokojitsugyo owns almost 400ha to be developed as part of the $500 million town centre. Macquarie was involved and reportedly lost a tussle with Hokojitsugyo over a nearby prime site, owned by the State Government and to be developed into the area's core precinct. Area councillor David Power accused Macquarie of failing to take the other land holdings into account when proposing its shopping centre and of providing a 'short-term solution'. "They need to recognise that this vision has been developed over 15 years and its not going to be undermined any more," he said. A spokeswoman for the developer would not rule out legal action but said Macquarie remained 'committed' to working with the council and providing an 'integrated solution'. Recommending the refusal, council officers said high density housing was a 'fundamental element' of the site, zoned a high activity area by the State Government.
Three questions come to mind, where did Hokojitsugyo come from? What are they developing and is it meant to be different from Citywalk? Finally, where is the council land that both companies are looking to use?

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Interesting read. Don't let the Pacific Ocean stop you from finding all the good articles :P. To me it seems more like the council is creating bad press around Macquarie to pressure them to do things "their way". I don't doubt that Macquarie would be developing it with their interests in mind (i.e. the location adjacent to Dreamworld), but that's what a free market is all about. I don't believe the local council are in any way contributing financially to the project. The Coomera railway station was designed with the eventual construction of a shopping centre there in mind. Its construction was much of the reason Macquarie Leisure purchased a second parcel of land that was separate to Dreamworld when they bought the park, and I'm sure during the purchase negotiation process they consulted heavily with the local council regarding the master plan for the region. I think it's a bit foolish this late in the project for the council to be crying foul. It's been years in planning.

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And what i want to know is, is wether any residents actually oppose the development. It really bugs me when governments interfere with stuff like this trying to be overly controlling. Another example of this I can think of is the retail development that was blocked at Avalon Airport, the reason being it was not in one of the 'activity areas' set out under the Melbourne 2020 plan. Like its friggin waste land around the airport, nobody would be affected, it would only be positive for the airport operator and visitors flying in. And whats with the obessesion with high density housing in new devlopments, does anyone actually want to live in them? Especially at Coomera, where there are no real views and the only company being a noisy theme park that will only get noisier. But as Rich said, just let the free market take its course, and let them develop what the GP wants, and not what the council tells them to want. And one other thing, why was on overseas firm given preference in development, havent maquarie had a bit more experience in the area? But anyway hope Maquarie wins....

Edited by Gazza

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It always makes me nervous when areas around theme parks start becoming more popular for other uses and re-zoned. In this case the council wants residential which I don't think really fits in with close proximity to a theme park. I guess I am still scarred by the Wonderland saga where the land became more valuable for industrial purposes. What about the hotel/resort Macq was planning? Dreamworld has contributed so much to the area they should be able to do what they like

Edited by GoGoBoy

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^I agree; I think theme parks and residential areas should stay away from each other. If housing developments start getting built to close to Dreamworld (or any theme park), eventually the residents will start complaining about the noise. I think people moving in close to theme parks should have to sign a waiver or something saying that they acknowledge there will be a considerable amount of noise from the coasters and rides. Also, this kinda reminds me of the SFMM thing, where the land around the park is more valuable as real estate than a theme park. Hope they never sell off the GC parks because they'd make more money building houses there. But on the topic, I think Dreamworld should definitley be permitted to build their Citywalk thing there, I mean, better a shopping centre than a bunch of houses.

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I'm actually supporting the council to an extent on this one, as I do want an intergrated precinct, as opposed to the standalone one MLT proposed. The centre also lacked a variety store (Kmart, Target, etc.), and possibly a department store. Living 10km away, and needing a closer major shopping centre then Westfield Helensvale or Logan Hyperdome, I want MLT to get this right.

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I seen it on the news last night (tues 11th) Saying its gonna be half the size of Pacific Fair and Will have Cinemas and indoor outdoor parts. Also will be linked with Dreamworld and there future hotels. The Area is Set right near the Big brother House and looks Awesome.

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Universal Citywalk is pretty much nightclubs and bars and the like. Citywalk on Coomera as it was proprosed in stage one is a anywhere planet Earth shopping center, so no, it was nothing like the overseas version. Thats not really a bad thing though, Universal's Citywalk is designed purely for tourists, and the dynamics of Coomera suggest this may not be the best model to go with. Its probably possible for Coomera to be the sort of suburb that attracts tourists, but its going to take more then DW and WWW to bring in enough tourists to support a nightclub area geared for tourists. Plus given the councils reply on the Citywalk, they're vision for Coomera is for a new Robina. I can see where both sides are coming from on this one. I must say thought the idea that they'll be modeling Coomera after Robina worries me, as Robina feels so poorly thrown together and thought out. Robina is pockets of public space seperated by large expanses of call centers, offices and what will one day be government buildings and more offices. Personally though, I'd love to see Mac. Lesiure try and go for the tourists in a way that can also be used by the locals. More smaller attractions (Bowling, arcades) with bars, resturants, and hotels. That to me would be so much better then building yet another generic shopping center that doesn't hold a candle to Pacific Fair.

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This thread is for the discussion of Macquarie Leisure Trust's Citywalk. If you have any issues relating to this site or the forum please bring them to our attention in the Site Issues forum.

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