Southern comfort on Gold Coast as Max Beck strikes with new tower for Coolangatta

Opening of new Hyatt Hotel at Essendon Fields.

Max Beck’s BeckDev group plans 175 one, two and three-bedroom apartments on its McLean St site in Coolangatta purchased earlier this year for $7.8m. Picture: Sarah Matray

Rich-lister Max Beck is the latest big-name developer to bring an apartment block to the increasingly popular southern Gold Coast, announcing plans for a $130m tower development at Coolangatta.

The Melbourne-based developer’s BeckDev group plans 175 one, two and three-bedroom apartments on its McLean St site purchased earlier this year for $7.8m, stressing the Palais ­development will be a luxury project as well as offering value for money.

“There has been a whole lot of crap built up here, two beds and one bath and they fall to pieces after a few years,” Mr Beck said.

The developer who is well known for projects including 333 Collins St, Melbourne and for the $1.5bn mixed-use development it is doing in suburban Caulfield, said that its 22-level Palais apartment tower 200m from the Coolangatta beach would be good value for money and would appeal to locals.

“The market for locals up here is still quite strong,” said Mr Beck, adding that he “felt an obligation to build good buildings because they don’t go away in 12 months. That’s been my mantra. I will not build crap.

“We have already had a reputation for doing good quality. If you can’t drive past it in 20 years and be proud of it, you should not be building it.”

An artist's impression of 49 McLean St

An artist’s impression of 49 McLean St, Coolangata.

After fending off several other developers for the site, BeckDev has lodged a development application for the residential apartment tower, which it reckons will sell to a mix of local investors and owner-occupiers with prices starting from $850,000 for a two-bedroom and two-bathroom unit including a car park. The developer is so confident of the southern Gold Coast that has also attracted several big-name developers, such as Brian Flannery’s development at nearby Kirra, that BeckDev is already looking to acquire more sites.

“We are pitching it to people who want to come to Coolangatta, people who want to retire on the southern Gold Coast,” Mr Beck said, adding that BeckDev’s consultants said sales were much better on Queensland’s Gold Coast than they were in Sydney or Melbourne.

Both Mr Beck and his son Ben Beck, who is also involved in the project, say Coolangatta is popular because of its rare north-facing beach, as well as its proximity to Byron Bay, Kingscliff and the airport.

“We love the village aspect of Coolangatta. It has a future and is not stuck in the high-end market,” Mr Beck said.

“The feedback … is that the Gold Coast is welcoming us with open arms because of our history and financial strength. A lot of people up here left payments (to sub contractors) short. But they know we will build a good product and we will pay them. We know what they want.”

CBRE is handling the sales campaign, and the father-and-son team expect the construction will take about 18 months.