WORK is about to start on a new luxury resort on Shingley Drive in Airlie Beach.
Preliminary clearing works started this week on what is planned to be known as ONE Whitsundays Resort and Spa.
The $70 million project is to be built between Marina Shores and Shingley Beach Resort on land which was once planned to be developed by model and socialite Ivana Trump.
Construction is expected to start before Christmas and be completed by the end of 2016.
ONE Whitsundays CEO John Zappia and the resort’s development general manager Anthony Leenders met Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Jennifer Whitney on site this week.
Mr Zappia, who is based in Sydney, said he would like to employ as many local tradespeople as possible during construction.
He said the Ivana Trump development was going to be super-luxury apartments and that the current developers had obtained the original blueprints.
However, they had been changed to suit the current market and various types of investors, he said.
Mr Leenders described the resort as the most significant new development in our region since the GFC and said it would be 5 star.
It is expected to take about two years to develop and the boutique resort complex will comprise 75 strata titled apartments of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms.
According to the developers, prices will range from $395,000 up to $3.2 million for one of two luxurious penthouses overlooking 270 degrees of unobstructed views. The resort will include a state-of-the-art spa, gym, conference centre and part geometric, part lagoon-style pool with views out to the marina and the Coral Sea.
Mayor Whitney said she was looking forward to the job opportunities the new resort would bring.
“I’m always keen to see economic development in the region and happy to work with developers in achieving this wonderful result and the job creation this will have for the region,” she said.
Mr Zappia said a major drawcard would be the exclusive conference room that would be able to host up to 300.
“There’s definitely a hole in the market and this will generate mid-week activity,” he said.