Sunshine Coast to get first new five-star hotel in more than 20 years

An artist’s impression of Aria Property Group’s resort at Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast.

The Aria Property Group is set to embark on its largest project to date following the approval of a $350 million integrated resort development at Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast.

The Brisbane developer was given the green light for the project last Friday after several years working to get the development application through council. It will be the largest project Aria has embarked on since its inception in 2003 and will focus mainly on a hotel, retail and residential apartments.

The Mooloolaba development will be the first new five-star hotel on the Sunshine Coast in more than two decades, with the hotel and resort offering 139 rooms.

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Sixty-six premium apartments will be constructed alongside 1764sqm of shops, restaurants and a day spa.

Aria executive Michael Hurley said the project would become an attraction on the Sunshine Coast.

“We believe this site is not only the best development site on the Sunshine Coast, we actually think it’s the best beachfront development site on the east coast of Australia,” Hurley says.

“We knew we had to do something pretty special on the site and we’ve been working on it now for several years.
“We undertook a national design competition. Elenberg Fraser won the design competition with something we think is a truly iconic building and development,” he says.

Known for extravagant and well-planned rooftops, Aria will draw inspiration for a public bar and restaurant from the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, W Hotel Barcelona and One Hotel, South Beach, Miami, looking to deliver the same calibre of design in Australia.

The land at 1 Esplanade, Mooloolaba has been in the family of managing director Tim Forrester for almost three decades. It is an important project for the team as the company originated on the Sunshine Coast.

“Tim and I went to school up there and were in the surf club — that’s home for us. So we are all pretty excited about Mooloolaba,” Hurley says.

“One of the most exciting things about this development, a huge piece, is the Sunshine Coast Council is doing a placemaking Mooloolaba upgrade. They’ve come up with a world-class master plan, which contemplates upgrading all of the Mooloolaba Esplanade and gives back a lot more room to parks, gardens and public spaces. We want to work with council on this.”

A contract for the hotel element of the project will be awarded next year.

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