Hope Harbour Marina sells for a song

Hope Harbour
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The Hope Harbour Marina on the northern Gold Coast has sold for a fraction of the price it sold for six years ago. Equitable Investments, reportedly linked to one of New Zealand’s wealthiest families, the Spencer family, purchased the 281 wet-berth marina on John Lund Drive at Hope Island for a reported AUD$14 million from receiver PPB Advisory.

The marina was purchased at the top of the market in 2007 by bankrupt businessman Craig Gore for $38 million. It fell into the hands of receivers during the financial crisis.

The New Zealand-based investment entity, reportedly managed by property investor Chris Spencer, snapped up the 7.8 hectare marina, as well as the Couran Cove Resort ferry terminal, 20,000 square metres of development land and a factory complex with eight marine industry sheds on 4,112 square metres.

The marina occupies nearly 7.8 hectares and includes 281 wet berths, a harbour master’s building and refuelling wharf, as well as shops and two residential apartments.

Colliers International managed the sale, also recently selling Marina Oceanus, which adjoins the Marina Mirage shopping centre at Main Beach. Agents reported that in marketing both properties, there was a great deal of interest from buyers in marina assets.

'The strong level of interest can be attributed to the perception in the marketplace that the improving economy in the medium term will lead to rising boat sales and registrations as more people splash out and once again enjoy leisure activities on the water,' said agent, Brad Johnston.

'The Gold Coast of course can really be described as the boating capital of Australia.'

According to Colliers International research, there are currently 27,198 watercraft on the Gold Coast comprising vessels both with sails and without, ranging in size of up to three metres to 25 metres and over.

He added that in addition to a general rebound in interest in marinas, buyers were particularly attracted to Hope Harbour Marina largely due to its location.

'The offers received for this offering were from sophisticated investors who understand this market,' he said.

'The Hope Harbour Marina in particular has a unique location – it’s close to the Gold Coast Broadwater, allowing ease of access for marine craft, and is has an established clientele at the northern end of the Gold Coast, which has experienced significant growth in recent years and is continuing to grow, with plenty of amenity being built to support that growth.

'Hope Harbour is ideally located within this precinct, as it is central to Sanctuary Cove and Hope Island resorts, providing easy access to all local attractions and amenities.'

Mr Johnston said the investors interested in the Hope Harbour offering identified an asset that had existing cash flow, with the potential to grow that cash flow as the economy improves and the northern part of the Gold Coast grows.

'Indeed, in addition to the growth that will take place in the area, there is the potential to further develop the Hope Harbour properties, which will add further value. They are not yet at their highest and best use.'

In the past six months, heavily discounted marinas have been sold by receivers in Queensland.

The Spinnaker Sound Marina, north of Brisbane, has changed hands, as well as Marina Oceanus, fronting the Marina Mirage shopping centre on the Southport Spit, and Abell Point Marina, at Airlie Beach.

The Spencer family is most notable in New Zealand for establishing the Caxton Printing Works. Late patriarch Peter Spencer developed a wide range of businesses including financial services Equitable Group, now controlled by his son Chris.