Top young business guns buy the Wharf for $10m
THE Wharf retail precinct at Mooloolaba has sold for around $10 million to a company owned by two of the Sunshine Coast's leading young businessmen.
Merlin Entertainment will retain ownership of Underwater World SEA LIFE Mooloolaba as part of the portfolio of 104 attractions globally including 13 in Australia and New Zealand.
Evans Long Pty Ltd was founded in 2011 by Matt Evans and Dirk Long following the sale Evans Harch, the respected Sunshine Coast construction company run by Matt's father Pat and Trevor Harch.
The pair has quickly established a strong commercial, industrial and retail development track record with projects in North Queensland, the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.
It is understood Merlin received offers around the $10 million mark from a number of interested parties before entering into an exclusive agreement with Evans Long which is now undertaking due diligence
The Wharf sits on a State Government special lease which a number of parties have previously attempted to convert to freehold.
Industry sources say they expect that the success of any future potential attempt to achieve that outcome may be critical to long-term investment plans.
Merlin says Underwater World SEA LIFE Mooloolaba is, and would remain, a core part its business and was not part of The Wharf sale.
"The company remains committed to continuing to invest in the aquarium and delivering a world-class attraction for both locals and tourists to enjoy,'' it said in a statement.
Mr Evans completed a valuation degree and was a practising valuer before joining Evans Harch Constructions to grow the development part of the business.
He held the position of managing director when the company was sold in 2011 at which time he and Mr Long formed Evans Long.
At the same time Mr Evans formed another company, Evans Built which he runs with his brother Sean.
Mr Long had also worked at Evans Harch as head of development after 17 years' experience as a commercial real estate agent and auctioneer, ultimately as principal of LJ Hooker Commercial Brisbane and Brisbane Southside.
Merlin's 13 Australasian properties include the Hotham and Falls Creek Alpine Resorts in Victoria and Wild Life Hamilton Island.
Evans Long projects include:
- Nucleus Medical Suites, Buderim
- Premion Plan Medical Centre, Southport
- Cardno House, Maroochydore
- La Boite Theatre redevelopment, Brisbane
- Oxygen Apartments, Mooloolaba
A number of other commercial, industrial and retail developments on the Coast, and in Townsville, Mackay and Logan