CONSTRUCTION has started on the $70 million One Whitsundays resort apartments on the waterfront at Airlie Beach.
The boutique complex at Whisper Bay comprises 75 one, two and three-bedroom apartments. Two penthouses have 270 degree unobstructed views of Hayman Island and the Abell Point Marina.
Entry price is $395,000 but a penthouse will set you back up to $3.2 million.
One Whitsundays CEO John Zappia said it was the first resort to be built at Airlie Beach since the global financial crisis. “Things are on the up and up if tourism statistics and property prices are any guide,” Mr Zappia said. “When the GFC hit, Airlie Beach was particularly affected and a number of property developments already in planning failed to materialise. “As the gateway to the Whitsundays, the town is now having a renaissance, with luxury resort-style apartments in high demand and a ripple effect emanating from some compelling numbers coming out of its idyllic surroundings. “In the past year tourism has risen by 20 per cent and property prices are on the rise, up 5 per cent in that period.”
The resort will be managed by a hotel operator with apartment buyers having the option of living on site full-time or adding their property to the rental pool – either short or long-term.
Mr Zappia said One Whitsundays was designed for investment and those looking to capitalise on property growth and increasing tourism in the region. “Located adjacent to the Abel Point Marina in a waterfront reserve site it is undoubtedly one of the best locations in Airlie Beach,” he said. “The Whitsundays region has traditionally been one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, with the island group recognised across the globe. “In the past 10 years the popularity of the mainland has rivalled that of the islands, with greater accessibility, flourishing new developments and occupancy rates higher than ever.”
Mr Zappia said his investment group had been forced to play the waiting game, after initially planning a pre-GFC start.
“We purchased the One Whitsundays property site pre-GFC but there then occurred a prolonged drain of investment confidence in developing infrastructure in the area,” he said. “We are now seeing a pronounced turnaround. “Various projects that are under way in Airlie Beach highlight the confidence investors are feeling, investing in the Whitsundays area. “People who have missed the early boom are ready to get in on the action.” The resort will include a 300-seat conference centre, a lagoon pool cascading across three levels, day spa, gym and Mediterranean restaurant, Cafe Del Mar.