The Gold Coast is set to host a huge new master planned city to the north of the established urban settlement, with plans for the record-breaking sale of a raft of sprawling cane fields.
The Norwell Valley site consists of a total of 248 properties covering an area over 10 times greater than that of Surfers Paradise.
The 40 landowners participating in the sale expect the huge plot of land bound by the M1 and Moreton Bay to fetch a record-breaking price of over $1 billion, enabling the many cane farmers taking part in the deal to make a lucrative exit from a long struggling industry.
The site is destined to become Australia’s biggest master planned city, with any future purchasers assuming the role of master planners responsible for obtaining government approvals and delivering required infrastructure and green space.
The $32 billion Greater Springfield development, situated in Queensland’s Ipswich, is at present the largest master planned city in Australia with a total area of 2,860 hectares, and a project population of more than 100,000 once it’s fully occupied.
The master planned community slated for Norwell Valley will be more than three times the size of Greater Springfield, covering a total of 6117 acres.
Stockbroker Wayne Cummins and architect Rob Machon, both of whom are Sydney natives who opted to relocate to the Gold Coast, are the driving force behind the deal to convert struggling cane fields into a new master planned city. The pair reportedly conceived the idea for the deal during a game of golf with local cane farmer Arthur Fiumini.
Given its sheer cost and scale, cash-flush Chinese developers are being eyed as leading candidates for purchase of the property, particularly given its strong potential as a site for theme parks or coastal vacation resorts.
Canford Property, responsible for the Norwell Valley sales campaign, said in an official statement that it had contacted “some of China’s largest developers and theme park operators who want to unseat Disney and develop one of the world’s largest theme parks on the Gold Coast.”
Wang Jianlin, one of China’s richest men and head of the Wanda Group, is a particularly strong contender for purchase of the Norwell Valley site, given his avowed ambitions to build Disney theme parks around the world, and his involvement with the Jewel Development in Surfers Paradise.
The proposed Norwell Valley city is unlikely to come to fruition any time soon, however, with approvals and zoning amendments expected to take over a decade to negotiate.