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Skeeta

Dreamworld close to Coomera deal

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DREAMWORLD is close to selling its controversial Coomera Town Centre site in a move that could fast-track development of the long-awaited project. The theme park's owner, Macquarie Leisure Trust, yesterday revealed it was in 'advanced' negotiations with a buyer for the site, development of which has been delayed due to a protracted legal dispute with the Gold Coast City Council. Macquarie Leisure chief executive Greg Shaw yesterday said the sale would speed up development of the town centre, a project he saw as integral to the continued growth of Dreamworld. He would neither identify the potential buyer nor the amount of land being sold by Macquarie Leisure, which owns about 80ha at Coomera. "We are in discussions and, if it comes off, it would mean that land would be developed sooner," said Mr Shaw. Macquarie Leisure had earmarked a $250 million retail centre on the site, featuring a boulevard approach to Dreamworld south from the Coomera rail station. The council had objected to a retail centre south of Foxwell Road, insisting it should be built adjacent to the rail station on land bought by retail giant Westfield in 2007. Westfield has yet to reveal its plans for the town centre which it is developing in partnership with Robina Town Centre owner the Queensland Investment Corporation. The Land and Environment Court last year ordered a mediation between Westfield and Macquarie Leisure to break the stalemate, the latest in a series of hurdles that has kept the town centre project on ice for almost a decade. Macquarie Leisure's announcement yesterday sparked rumours that Westfield could be the buyer of the Dreamworld site. Westfield did not respond to The Gold Coast Bulletin's inquiries yesterday. Meanwhile, Mr Shaw said the sale would not impact on expansion plans for Dreamworld, which occupies about 40ha of prime Coomera land. "Whatever we would contemplate would certainly never prohibit the ongoing development of Dreamworld," he said. Macquarie Leisure's announcement came with news that it has had to write down the value of Dreamworld for a second year in a row. It chipped 11.7 per cent off the book value of Dreamworld at the end of June, after cutting about 11 per cent off the asset in 2008. I think this is great news and with any luck Macquarie Leisure Trust puts all its efforts and money into Dreamworld now and brings to a standstill these harebrained ideas. http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2009/0...-top-story.html

Edited by skeetafly

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Fair enough of them for giving up on the whole 'Town Center' thing. The development they put forward all those years ago weren't really much, and hopefully someone else will come along and do it better. Having said that, the land is currently valued at $20million (according to Mac. Leisure's "independent" valuations) so selling off that land doesn't really reap much benefit. Pity they couldn't have thought up a way to use that land for a separate attraction or a hotel.

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$20 million might not appear to be a large amount for the property but in the scheme of things by selling this development it releases up to 250 million. We can merely hope that Dreamworld would use a minute fraction of this money to provide its customers with a fresh attraction. ” Mr Shaw said the sale would not impact on expansion plans for Dreamworld”

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Sorry, I don't understand how it releases up to $250million? Just because they aren't going ahead with the town center, doesn't mean they have to get rid of the land to get the $250million they were going to spend on it back (or that they spent it in the first place).

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By not going ahead with the project it releases the 250 to be spent else where. “Macquarie Leisure chief executive Greg Shaw yesterday said the sale would speed up development of the town centre, a project he saw as integral to the continued growth of Dreamworld.” Dreamworld are looking to benefit from the town centre. Dreamworld are having huge problems getting this project approved with the G.C.C.C. and Westfield who own the land across from the train station objecting to it. From what I can read from the Coomera Town Plan, Dreamworld extra land is zoned the town centre for Coomera. This parcel of land now zoned as Town Centre may no longer be useful to Dreamworld if they can’t build what they want on it. From everything I have read about this development this is my guess to what is in the pipeline. Dreamworld want town centre at back to help draw people in to park where G.C.C.C. is rejecting Centre for a list of to many reasons to go into here. Westfield own land over the road and want to build town centre on there land. Solution Westfield buy Dreamworld land and build Town Centre giving Dreamworld input into design to help Dreamworld cause. (E.g. bowling ally, more car parking to Dreamworld, Dreamworld train track could even drive through the Coomera town centre). Westfield might split the Town Centre over there land and Dreamworld land. Of course this is total speculation.

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I've heard that one of the reason's that it has been on hold for so long is becuase a mojority of Gold Coast City Councilers are share holders in either Westfield or the WVTP. I think there may be some truth to this because Westfield already has a town centre just down the highway. Surely the ACCC has to see this as monopolising the northern areas of the Gold Coast by Westfield, would it not. I just hope, as skeetafly said, that Dreamworld has some input into the design of the town centre and the construction etc. Even if it is Westfield that have bought the land...

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Macquarie Leisure aren't going to take the funds that were earmarked for this investment and simply channel them off into other avenues. The reason they were pursuing this is because they were looking at making excellent returns in a very short amount of time. Despite how they've been running Dreamworld this past decade or so, the theme park industry (and leisure sector as a whole) is not a short-run business; they won't be able to make the same kinds of returns as quicky, so logically we won't see them pursue this level of funding for projects that are actually within their expertise (or should that be "expertise"?) as an organisation. More interesting is the hits the park's book value has been taking recently. The park's supposed valuation has been ridiculous in recent years and hugely higher than it should be, and it's good to see some sense come back slowly.

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Westfield own the most amount of realestate in the world, so whats the difference between the 20mins between each other, They also own 40% of Pacific Fair. But when building Helensvale they had much bigger bolder plans for it, but were knocked back. That big lot of land sitting next to the Woolworths there is Westfields, now if they were shareholders, why would the council stop that? Woolworths and Coles together control 80% of the supermarket industry, what does the ACCC do about that? Now I really hope we see a classy well thought out centre which that part of the coast really needs DJ's and Myers and such. But I reall don't want to see something tacky and yea it would be great to connect to Dreamworld and have like a city walk and for Dreamworld Resort out there, but with no great views out there I'm guessing something bush where outside you have Australian Wildlife. Kinda like Disnet african hotel. And with DW recents fallings again, I hope it becomes a wake up call to start doing things right and please the customer and the money will follow instead of the other way around. They have got a perfect oppourtunity while WVTP continue there trend to gain market dominance.

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Would council members being shareholders in Westfield or whatever make a difference? I thought the rule was that you have abstain from making decisions if a conflict of interest can occur. ....Oh wait, this is Queensland. To be honest, when this does get built, they need it to be as close as possible to the train station as possible, and not on the Dreamworld side. In Brisbane there is a shopping center called Toowong Village, and even though it isn't the best one in Brisbane, it is very useful because it is built on top of the station, so it is very easy to pop into Coles or Kmart, or get something from the food court and then jump on the next train (Bondi Junction for Sydneysiders and Box Hill for Melbournians would be comparable examples ) If you built the majority of stuff near Dreamworld then the opportunity is lost for people to easily use the train to access the center. The idea of linking DW and a shopping center is kind of pointless IMO since they aren't really uses that match, unless you made that end purely restaurants and entertainment.

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THE 'mirage' that is the Coomera Town Centre took a big step to becoming a reality yesterday with Dreamworld announcing it had sold a significant link in the project for $16.5 million. Town centre developer Queensland Investment Corporation has secured a huge parcel of land to the north of the theme park after almost a year of negotiations with owner Ardent Leisure, formerly known as Macquarie Leisure Trust. The sale marks the end of a drawn-out tussle between the city council and Ardent over its plans for the land, understood to total up to 50ha, or about half Dreamworld's Coomera land. The theme park owner had proposed a retail centre for the site, featuring a boulevard approach to Dreamworld leading south from Coomera rail station. More Gold Coast business news Have your say on the feedback form below The council opposed the plan, insisting the main retail component of the town centre should be located north of Foxwell Road. While the State Government-owned QIC has played down the importance of the land deal, it appears Dreamworld is still banking on the creation of a boulevard leading to the theme park. Ardent Leisure chief executive Greg Shaw said the deal would speed up the town centre development, which ultimately would benefit Dreamworld. "We're pretty keen to have that land developed. It's a good move forward and strategically, from our point of view, it makes good sense." QIC already owns 35ha north of Foxwell Road, adjacent to the train station, teaming up with shopping centre giant Westfield more than two years ago to secure the $44 million site which will form the core of the town centre. The Dreamworld deal now gives QIC the pivotal role in the proposed $1 billion development which has been on the drawing boards for almost two decades and is poised to create 20,000 jobs and 10,500 homes over the next 15 years. QIC's head of global real estate, Robert Carter, said the Dreamworld land was 'solely ... a strategic, long-term land holding' and the purchase would not alter the timing of the town centre construction. Mr Carter did not detail when the project would get off the ground, but said both QIC and Westfield were 'working closely' with the State Government and the city council to 'deliver a viable town centre'. "This is a separate land holding and will not have an impact on the timeframe of QIC's joint venture with Westfield to develop a vibrant master plan for the proposed town centre. "The (Dreamworld) site is strategically positioned within the Coomera Town Centre footprint making it an ideal location to integrate retail, residential and civic infrastructure over the long term." Ardent Leisure's Mr Shaw said about 15ha of land had been retained by Dreamworld for future expansion of the theme park, including carparking. What do people think they will spend the 16.5m on?

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What do people think they will spend the 16.5m on?
A nice big bonus for the execs? Some new upcharge attractions? (because the investments pay off twice!) how about some trinkets for the shareholders? Lots of trinkets! As much as I love the park, and it is getting better, you've got to question their actions over the past 4 years.

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