AFTER 12 frustrating years of doing business in Noosa, developer Mark Stockwell is selling his flagship shopping centre for reportedly more than $200 million to concentrate on staging the Commonwealth Games.
Mr Stockwell has confirmed the Noosa Civic has been bought up by the government-owned Queensland Investment Corp, which has an investment portfolio worth more than $63 billion.
The sale comes less than two years after the Sunshine Coast council's refusal of an application for a major stage-three retail expansion - to make room for a Myer centre - on the grounds the amount of additional retail shopping space is against the Noosa Plan.
His company, Stockwell Development, eventually dropped its legal challenge to the decision, but Mr Stockwell has not ruled out a high-end department store coming to Noosa provided the community got right behind the proposal.
"We've entered a contract with QIC. That contract's unconditional," said Mr Stockwell, adding the sale should be settled in a few weeks.
"We've been out for the last 18 months looking for a venture partner to go with us (for further centre development) and in the end QIC put an offer to us along the lines of them taking the whole property."
Although Mr Stockwell refused to reveal the sales price, he indicated QIC would be looking at further business investment at Noosa Civic.
"QIC have not expressed to me (what they will do with the Civic), but I've known them for a long time and they will no doubt have some plans for the centre's future development," he said. And so they should, because that's the role. Whoever is the owner of that land has a responsibility under the planning scheme to deliver on its promise to the community.
"It's fairly well documented - we've got a role up there to have the highest order business, retail and commercial (sector) there and delivering on the planning scheme's vision," he said.
"Nothing comes easy in Noosa and we have got major businesses and tenants who want to come into the areas and that no doubt will have a significant impact on people's lives.
"We were preparing to look at what was going happen with the de-amalgamation, and then looking after the court case to preparing a new application to lodge, which was on the basis there would be no Myer involved.
"There would have to be overwhelming community support for anything (like Myer) to happen, because without that it won't."
A spokeswoman for QIC Global Real Estate said the group was unable to provide any comment at this time. "In terms of our general strategy, however, the Group is actively managing its portfolio and constantly monitoring opportunities in the market," she said.
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