Barmy Palmy: Beachside prime site spikes $1 million in three months

Up $1 million in three months: Jefferson Lane development site sold under the hammer to a Melbourne developer.

A vacant block fronting Palm Beach’s prized Jefferson Lane has sold under the hammer for $2.4 million — $1 million more than veteran Coast developer John Potter paid for the site just three months ago.

Throngs of residents lined the streets as the 549sq m lot with dual frontage at 1079 Gold Coast Highway went under the hammer on Saturday following a marketing campaign by Harcourts Coastal Commercial directors Jared Johnson and Lachlan Marshall.

The opening bid of $1.4 million was swiftly dwarfed as auctioneer Rob Forde fielded play by four registered bidders, with a Melbourne-based developer placing the closing bid by phone.

The site was one of the few vacant blocks remaining along the exclusive stretch.

Mr Johnson said the “outstanding result” reflected heated demand for luxury apartment living in the area, with the prime development site one of few remaining along the southern beaches’ most exclusive strip.

“The appetite for development sites right now is extremely high, and I think it just speaks about the demand for beachside high-end residences in Palm Beach, and not just Palm Beach but right across the Gold Coast,” Mr Johnson.

“Our residential department has had so much inquiry from NSW and Victorian residents who are looking to relocate to the Gold Coast.”

An artist’s impression of the nine-level tower Mr Potter had designed before shelving plans for the site.


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Mr Johnson said around 100 spectators turned out for the on-site auction to see the rare vacant block just 140m from beach access go under the hammer.

“People rode down on their skateboards and on their push bikes and brought their dogs. It’s such a community vibe there by the beach; everyone knew it was happening.”

A village atmosphere and world-class surf break are part of Palm Beach’s appeal for sea-changers driving the luxury apartment market.

The buyer’s identity or plans for the site have not been disclosed.

Mr Potter, CEO of the Potter Group and a former Villa World head, acquired the site for $1.4 million in March in partnership with fellow local developer, Mark Howard.

At the time, Mr Potter touted the addition of the blue-chip parcel to his portfolio as, “a jewel in the crown”. Plans were drawn up for a nine-level apartment building at the site, but were shelved as the owners made the call to go to market in order to free up capital for another opportunity.

The site was marketed by Harcourts Coastal Commercial.

Mr Potter is chasing another big ticket sale of a nine-title parcel in Broadbeach spanning 6,438sq m at 2709-2723 Gold Coast Highway.

The high-profile holding has approval for two 68-storey towers with 458 residential units and 418 serviced apartments, plus 2096sq m of retail and office space.

The Broadbeach development site also owned by Mr Potter.