1.7ha Investment Opportunity in Heart of North Lakes

Published 12 July 2023

Aerial of North Lakes

Council’s development lease with the proponents behind the ‘Laguna’ concept in North Lakes has now expired.

As with many industries during and after the pandemic period, the changed economic conditions created a range of unforeseen impacts, and the consortium behind the Laguna development sought to revise their development application.

However they were unable to make an application that met Council’s requirements within the development lease timeframes. 

Mayor Peter Flannery said while it was an unfortunate situation, this presented a new opportunity to consider new design and sustainability principles reflective of a post-covid world and changed community aspirations.

“It’s nearly a decade since the initial development discussions around this prized piece of real estate at 20-40 North Lakes Drive opposite Westfield and a lot has changed in that time,” Mayor Flannery said.

“It’s not every day that a 1.7 hectare site in the heart of a premier retail and business precinct becomes available, to help us deliver region-shaping outcomes.

“Right now we need to construct 1,000 plus hotel rooms just to meet demand - that’s the equivalent of eight new hotels - due to surging tourism demand!

“In 2021 alone Moreton Bay welcomed more than 4.3 million visitors, that’s double Noosa’s visitation.

“So this a one-of-a-kind opportunity that’s ripe for transformative development, and now that Council’s taken control of the site we will be responsible for ensuring the site is kept secure and that our crews keep it mowed and maintained.

“In November last year we gave the green light to a new eco-hotel and wellness retreat in North Lakes, a five-storey wellness retreat that will become a unique eco-precinct. So I see huge potential here for a complementary development.”

Cr Jodie Shipway (Div 4) said times had changed since the original Laguna Development Application had been submitted.

“Post-covid we’re all living and working differently, and I think the region’s aspirations and what we’d like to see happen here has evolved also,” she said.

“So I think this is an opportunity to reset and rethink what is the best purpose and use of this site.

“Obviously there’s a huge need for short-term accommodation, but beyond that I’m interested to see what a new project could deliver for the community in terms public design elements to meet local expectations and ambitions?

“Personally I love the landscape architecture at the Howard Smith Wharves, the way cyclists, restaurants, picnickers, musicians, and events interact around the same space surrounded by gardens and open space.

“I’d love to see that kind of thinking in the heart of North Lakes and I hope this announcement sparks a new conversation about what is possible here!”

Council officers are already working on the new EOI process with a report expected to come to council in August 2023.