FAQs

Please click on the questions to see the answers
  • WHO IS THE SUNLAND GROUP?

    Sunland is a leading national property developer with more than three decades’ experience delivering award-winning, design-driven communities along Australia’s eastern seaboard. During the past 32 years Sunland has delivered some of Australia’s most renowned architectural landmarks and an impressive portfolio of vibrant, design-driven residential communities. Among Sunland’s most iconic developments is Palazzo Versace, the world’s first fashion-branded hotel, which was delivered on The Spit in 2000. Sunland also designed and delivered Q1, the world’s tallest residential tower from 2005 to 2011 and a celebrated Gold Coast landmark. At the heart of Sunland’s enduring commitment to creating ‘architecture as art’ is our vision to build vibrant communities and in turn, shape a sustainable future for our clients, our shareholders and our people. Together, Sunland’s design philosophy and our values work hand in hand to engage, transform and define the experience of ‘community’ for future generations. Through the Sunland Foundation, which was established in 2002, the Group proudly supports a variety of charities, community organisations and university scholarships through sponsorships, donations, and participation in fundraising events.

  • IS THE SUNLAND GROUP AN AUSTRALIAN COMPANY?

    Yes. In 2015, Sunland is celebrating 20 years as a listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange.

  • WHAT OTHER PROJECTS HAS THE SUNLAND GROUP DEVELOPED ON THE GOLD COAST?

    Over the past 32 years Sunland has developed numerous award-winning and iconic residential projects on the Gold Coast, including Q1, Palazzo Versace, Sun City, Circle on Cavill, Lumiere, Avalon and Aria, as well as master planned communities at Royal Pines, The Glades and Sanctuary Cove. The Group’s current portfolio on the Gold Coast includes the visionary 42 hectare master planned community at The Lakes in Mermaid Waters, a new residential development in Hope Island called Ancora, and a new residential housing development at Palm Beach.

  • WHO ARE ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS?

    Zaha Hadid is one of the most creative thinkers of our generation. Given Sunland’s enduring commitment to pursue architectural excellence, we felt it was only right that we engage with a Pritzker Award winning architect to create a truly inspiring design for the city. The site in Mariner’s Cove is arguably one of the most unique locations on the Gold Coast and in the context of redevelopment within Australia, it has the opportunity to lend itself to an outcome that is befitting on an international scale. Zaha Hadid Architects have a proven track record of delivering world-class architecture with a strong focus on culture and the arts, with projects including the Evelyn Grace Academy in London, Guangzhou Opera House in China, MAXXI - National Museum of the 21st Century Arts in Rome and Rosenthal Centre for Contemporary Art in Ohio.

  • IS THE MARINER’S COVE SITE FREEHOLD OR LEASEHOLD?

    The whole of The Spit is leasehold land owned by the Queensland Government and is subject to long-term leases. The Mariner’s Cove site, including the marina, was issued with a 75 year lease in 1992 and currently has 42 years left to run.

  • WILL THE EXISTING MARINA BE MAINTAINED ON THE SITE?

    Yes. The existing marina performs an important function for recreational and business-related boating activities on the Broadwater and it is intended to maintain and expand this marina capacity into the future via a separate Development Application. Access to the marina will be maintained during the construction phase of the development, should the Mariner’s Cove proposal be approved.

  • WHY ARE TWO BUILDINGS PROPOSED AND WHY DO THEY NEED TO BE 44 STOREYS IN HEIGHT?

    The proposed development allows a vertical rather than horizontal outcome, which enables large areas of high quality, accessible open space for the community. The proposal provides a 20 to 25 metre setback from Seaworld Drive, and an 80 metre setback to the closest of the proposed towers. This is in contrast to the six metre building setback currently allowed for under the 2003 Gold Coast Planning Scheme. This design also allows the site to be opened up to the Broadwater. A two tower scheme has been proposed to provide architectural symmetry to the development, and to enable a sculptural bridge structure to connect the towers and form a podium recreation level above, and a sheltered pedestrian connection to the Broadwater below. The overall height of the towers is derived from identifying the desirable dimensional proportions of the twisting form at the bottom third of the towers, the transition in the central third of the towers, and the linear element which forms the top third of the towers. The complex and beautiful design outcome will form an iconic addition to the Gold Coast skyline and necessitates building height to be fully appreciated and to form an effective landmark on a global scale.

  • WILL THE BUILDINGS CAST SHADOWS ON THE BEACH?

    The towers have been situated to minimise the impact of shadows on the beach, and will not affect the residential amenity of any site to the south of Mariner’s Cove. The development is also compliant with the beach shadow provisions contained in the 2003 Gold Coast Planning Scheme.

  • WHY IS IT PROPOSED TO REALIGN THE BROADWATER REVETMENT WALL WITHIN THE SITE? DOESN’T THE PLANNING SCHEME PREVENT RECLAMATION WORKS?

    The existing revetment structure at Mariner’s Cove follows an irregular pattern and has numerous structures suspended over it on piers. The proposed revetment line seeks to follow a logical curved boundary line between the existing revetments at the Marina Mirage site to the north, and the vacant land to the south. The existing pier beneath the Fisherman’s Wharf Hotel will be retained and converted into a privately-owned but publicly accessible park, available to the community at all times. It should be noted that a very similar reclamation proposal on the site was approved in 1985 but this approval has since lapsed.

  • WHO OWNS THE LAND TO THE SOUTH OF THE SITE, AND WHAT IS PLANNED FOR THAT LAND?

    The vacant land to the south of the site is owned by the Queensland Government. To the best of our knowledge there are no current development plans for that land, and the future development of this land is a matter for the Queensland Government.

  • Why isn’t the proposal complying with the 3 storey code assessable height limit applicable under The Spit Local Area Plan?

    The 2003 Gold Coast Planning Scheme is a ‘performance based’ planning scheme and provides applicants with the ability to present an alternate argument to Council for consideration. Creating taller buildings on the Mariner’s Cove site, linked by a pedestrian bridge, would provide high quality community space for the entire City and visitors to enjoy. The iconic design of the proposed development is anticipated to become a tourist destination in its own right; an outcome that would not be possible without building height.

  • Why hasn’t the application been lodged under the new 2015 Draft Cityplan?

    The draft 2015 Cityplan is not yet in effect, and therefore the 2003 Gold Coast Planning Scheme is the planning document in effect at this time.

  • How much publicly accessible open space will be available
at ground level?

    The design proposes 7,796m² (approximately 2 acres) of privately-owned but publicly accessible open space at ground level, above the proposed carpark/aquarium podium, and a further 1,378m² of privately-owned but publicly accessible open space on the ‘floating parklands’, to be created by reusing an existing pier above the Broadwater. In total, 9,174m² (approximately 2 ½ acres) of the site will be available for public access on an unrestricted basis.

  • How wide will the waterfront pedestrian connection be?

    A wide waterfront boulevard will connect the new development to the Marina Mirage site and the proposed ‘floating parklands’. The boulevard varies between 10 metres and 50 metres in width to provide maximum community access to, and connection with, the Broadwater.

  • Who will own the proposed floating parklands?

    The proposed floating parklands, and all open space areas on the site, will be owned and maintained by the body corporate of the proposed development, and any development approval will be subject to conditions which require unlimited public access to these areas. The park will not be owned or maintained by Gold Coast City Council and therefore will not be a burden on the City’s ratepayers.

  • How much commercial floor space is proposed?

    The design proposes 1,950m² of commercial floor space at ground level. It is anticipated that these will largely comprise cafes, restaurants and shops associated with the marina. The existing Mariner’s Cove development has 6,305m² of commercial floor space, hence the proposal represents a reduction of 4,355m² of commercial floor space.

  • Is a ferry/water taxi service proposed?

    Mooring facilities for water taxis and ferries will be provided on the southern edge of the floating parklands, in anticipation of future services at a precinct level under consideration by Council and the State.

  • Won’t the proposal create traffic problems on Seaworld Drive/Waterways Drive?

    No. An extensive traffic report has been prepared for the Development Application by a traffic engineering consultancy, and this has been peer reviewed by a second traffic engineering firm. This report has identified that the predominant traffic issue on Seaworld Drive and Waterways Drive is caused by afternoon southbound traffic on weekends and public holidays. The proposed development will not have peak traffic generations which coincide with the identified peak periods. Sunland Group is proposing modifications to a number of intersections in the area to improve traffic flow. The proposed works will produce benefits which far exceed the additional traffic demand created by the development.

  • What traffic solutions are proposed by the development?

    The main identified peak traffic periods on The Spit are typically in the afternoon during weekends and public holidays, mainly consisting of northbound traffic seeking to cross the Sundale Bridge and travel north to either the northern suburbs of the Gold Coast or to Brisbane. In order to significantly improve traffic conditions, intersection upgrades are proposed to be undertaken as follows;

    • Seaworld Drive/MacArthur Drive, Waterways Drive roundabout at Main Beach – It is proposed to construct a left turn slip lane for southbound traffic on Seaworld Drive. This will allow southbound traffic to escape any traffic queue and free up road space for westbound/ northbound traffic. Two dedicated right turn lanes will be created at the roundabout for southbound traffic on Seaworld Drive. Additionally, a second northbound lane will be constructed for northbound traffic on MacArthur Drive. These measures will significantly improve traffic congestion at this intersection during peak periods.

    • Waterways Drive/Gold Coast Highway intersection at Main Beach – It is proposed to construct a longer left turn lane for westbound traffic on Waterways Drive approaching the Gold Coast Highway. This will enable southbound traffic to escape any traffic queue and to free up road space for vehicles turning right to travel north across the Sundale bridge. Additionally, it is proposed to construct a longer left turn slip lane for southbound traffic turning left from the Gold Coast Highway into Waterways Drive.

    • North Street/Gold Coast Highway intersection at Southport – Congestion on Marine Parade at Southport affects the performance of intersections in Main Beach during peak periods. Providing improvements to Marine Parade will provide easier access to the main traffic routes out of the City to the north and west, namely Queen Street, Smith Street and Brisbane Road. It is proposed to construct a left turn slip lane for northbound traffic on Marine Parade seeking to turn left into North Street. This lane can be constructed on land which has already been dedicated for that purpose.

    Upgrade works are also proposed as follows;

    • Conversion of the northbound carriageway on Marine Parade Southport, from two lanes to three lanes from south of Nerang Street, to North Street. This will involve kerbworks, linemarking and signposting. It is anticipated that the new lane will be available for car parking for the majority of the time, but will operate as a ‘clearway’ during afternoon peak periods, at which time parking will be prohibited. This ‘clearway’ period will typically coincide with weekend and peak holiday times when adjoining businesses are not operating.

    • Variable Message Signage – variable message electronic signage will be installed at various locations to provide motorists with information on travel decisions, route congestion and parking availability, so as to improve the efficiency of traffic flow during peak periods.

    • A range of works are also proposed to footpaths and bus stops in the Main Beach area to make the existing 704 and 705 bus routes more attractive to public transport patrons.

  • Will the site be accessible by public transport?

    Public transport is currently available to Seaworld Drive via Surfside bus routes 704 (coming from Southport) and 705 (coming from Broadbeach/Surfers Paradise), operating on 15 minute intervals. As such, the site and The Spit in general are very well serviced with public transport, however these services typically operate with a very low rate of occupancy. Improved awareness of public transport availability, and improved bus stops and footpaths at Main Beach will enhance connections to the light rail system and increase public transport patronage.

  • How big is the proposed art gallery?

    The proposed Art & Science Museum and Exhibition Gallery has a gross floor area of 1,536m² over two levels. Additionally, it is anticipated that outdoor art and sculpture will be located throughout the open space areas at ground level on the site, and specifically in the forecourt of the facility which will face Seaworld Drive.

  • Who will operate the gallery / museum and what will be displayed?

    The facility will be an Art & Science Museum and Exhibition Gallery, and will be built by Sunland Group as part of the development. It will be operated in a not-for-profit capacity by the Sunland Foundation. The facility will provide subsidies to visiting school groups and Gold Coast residents to encourage visitation. The Museum and Gallery will make a significant cultural contribution to the Gold Coast, without being a financial burden on the City’s ratepayers or State’s taxpayers. It is anticipated that the Museum and Gallery will act in a cooperative arrangement with other museums and provide exhibits for viewing on a rotational basis. Sunland’s vision is for the permanent exhibition spaces to be dedicated to educational art, science and design technologies that possess and inspire three key outcomes – curiosity, inspiration and education through exploration. The gallery will also provide a space for conference-style presentations linked to the exhibition themes, as well as spaces for creative expression.

  • Will the development be staged, or all constructed at the same time? If the development is approved, when will construction start?

    The entire development is intended to be constructed at the same time under a single construction process. Construction would commence in 2016 subject to the approval process, including all related statutory approvals.

  • How big is the proposed aquarium and why is it different to other aquariums?

    The proposed aquarium will occupy 6,349m² within a double-storey space located in the basement of the development. Sunland is collaborating with design experts to create a world-class aquarium design.

  • Will the Art & Science Museum and Exhibition Gallery and aquarium have subsidised entry?

    The Sunland Foundation will underwrite a subsidised entry for Gold Coast residents and student educational visits to the Art & Science Museum and Exhibition Gallery for the first three years of operation. The proposed aquarium will be subject to an entry fee similar to other tourist attractions of this type in Australia.

  • How many car parks are proposed?

    A total of 808 car parks are proposed on the site, most of which will be contained within a two level underground basement. This includes 490 spaces for apartments and serviced apartments, 40 spaces for residential visitors, 36 spaces for the hotel component, 86 spaces for the retail, and 156 spaces for the Aquarium and Art & Science Museum and Exhibition Gallery.

  • Is the project the same as the Sunland project at Coronation Drive, Toowong?

    Both the ‘Grace on Coronation’ project at Toowong and the Mariner’s Cove project at Main Beach have been designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. Other than the distinctive organic architectural style of Zaha Hadid Architects, the two developments are quite different. The Mariner’s Cove project will be unique in the world in that it involves a tower form that twists so that every floorplan on every level is different. The Mariner’s Cove project will be a significant engineering and design challenge
to construct.

  • Will the approval of this development set a precedent for other towers on The Spit?

    This is a development that will set a global standard of architecture and urban planning. Located at the entry to The Spit, it is a site worthy of monumental architecture. There are two distinctive land use categories on The Spit, being ‘vacant land’ which is zoned and subject to lease terms which cater for recreational open space usage, and ‘other land’ which has either been developed in the past or is located between developed land parcels with an expectation of future development.

    Of the latter category, there are two main landholdings which are currently vacant and anticipated to accommodate some form of development in the future. These landholdings consist of the site to the immediate south of Seaworld, and the site to the immediately south of Mariner’s Cove. Both sites are owned by the Queensland Government and it will be a decision for the Government to make as to how these sites are developed. With regard to the existing developed sites on Seaworld Drive, Mariner’s Cove is the only site which has clearly reached the end of its economic life and requires redevelopment. Adjoining developments such as the Marina Mirage Shopping Centre, Palazzo Versace and the Sheraton Hotel are exclusive ‘high end’ developments which have either been constructed at a very high cost or have been subject to expensive and recent refurbishments.

  • Is it true that a larger scheme was initially proposed over the adjoining land to the south owned by the Queensland Government?

    Yes. The Newman LNP Government approached Sunland Group in 2012 to prepare a development scheme for the Mariner’s Cove site and adjoining land to the south. After development options were prepared for the broader site, it was decided not to pursue this option and the redevelopment scheme reverted back to the land which is under long-term leasehold control of the Sunland Group. To the best of our knowledge, there are no current plans by the Queensland Government to develop the land to the south of the Mariner’s Cove site.

  • Does the lease over the site anticipate the land uses which are currently proposed?

    Yes. The Department of Natural Resources and Mines has issued a lease over the land which anticipates all the land uses which have been applied for. This lease runs for a further 42 years.

  • Will the proposed reclamation result in the loss of any seagrass or will there be any other adverse environmental consequences?

    No. There is no seagrass located in proximity of the site due to the depth of water and the fact that it is currently shaded for significant periods of time because of the existing overhanging buildings. Seagrass is generally located in other shallower sections of the Broadwater not affected by this proposal. As the site is currently a highly disturbed marine environment which is frequently used by motorised vessels, there is no fauna of any significance which would be adversely affected by the proposal.

  • Will the proposal cause any flooding issues?

    No. Detailed hydraulic reports have been undertaken which confirm that there are no adverse flooding consequences associated with the proposed development.

  • Will there be a wind effects problem at ground level?

    A wind effects report has been prepared by MEL consultants in relation to the proposal. This report recommended some minor design modifications to improve wind conditions at the ground and podium levels. The recommended measures are being incorporated into the design by Zaha Hadid Architects to ameliorate any wind effects associated with the design, but will be the subject of further refinement at the building approval stage should the development be approved.

  • Will the towers be illuminated at night?

    The sculptural form of the development at its base will be externally illuminated, however the towers themselves will not be externally illuminated due to concerns about lighting nuisance to hotel and apartment occupants.

  • What is the Sunland Foundation?

    The Sunland Foundation is a registered charitable institution established in 2002, which focuses its efforts on supporting key areas of research, education and health to create enduring, community-based relationships that support sustainable social progress. In recent years, the Foundation has continued its focus on local education through a variety of sponsorship programs and affiliated research activities at Bond University (Gold Coast). This includes sponsorship support to indigenous students and disadvantaged minorities unable to access tertiary education. The Sunland Foundation is a different entity to the Abedian Foundation, which financially supported the construction of the Soheil Abedian School of Architecture at Bond University and other charitable institutions.

  • Will the existing pedestrian connection between the Marina Mirage shopping centre and the Mariner’s Cove site be maintained?

    Yes. The existing pedestrian connections between the two sites will be maintained and improved.

  • Why do we need another gallery/museum if Council is building one at Evandale?

    The proposed Art & Science Museum and Exhibition Gallery will act in a complementary manner to Council’s cultural centre redevelopment at Evandale. Cultural tourism is a growing sector of the tourism economy and a greater number of cultural attractions will enhance the reputation of the City as a centre of arts and culture. The Art & Science Museum in Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands redevelopment is a striking feature of the public facilities attracting international and local visitors.

  • What assumptions have been factored into the development regarding sea level rise?

    The Queensland Government has advised they intend to adopt a policy position that 800mm of Sea Level rise will occur by 2100. This assumes a gradual increase in sea levels each year. The current High astronomical tide (HAT), being the maximum high tide in any year for this location is 1.19m AHD (Australian height datum). When factoring in Sea Level rise of 800mm we arrive at a new high astronomical tide of 1.99m AHD. The proposed revetment wall level for the development is 2.5m AHD, which caters for protection of the development in the event of sea level rise in the future.

  • What ESD (Ecologically Sustainable Design) issues have been incorporated into the development?

    ESD measures to be incorporated into the development will exceed regulatory standards and will complement the innovative nature of the proposed design. These details will be further examined at building approval stage in the event that the proposal is approved.

  • The development introduces residential development onto The Spit for the first time – won’t this compromise other existing uses?

    Residential development already exists at the Palazzo Versace development and the Sheraton Mirage development. Additionally, the draft Cityplan places the site in a ‘District Centre’ designation, which promotes mixed-use development outcomes, including residential development. The current Spit Local Area Plan also addresses anticipated residential development on the site, as does the lease issued by the Queensland Government.

  • Will the proposed towers block the northern views of Main Beach residents and the eastern views of Southport residents?

    The subject site is located approximately 300-350 metres north of the northernmost tower building at Main Beach, and approximately 800 metres east of the Southport CBD. As a consequence, the development only affects a small part of an otherwise expansive view of the ocean and the Broadwater. Additionally, the proposed towers have been designed to have no front and no back so that they can be viewed from all angles, and will be very attractive towers unlike anything ever constructed on the Gold Coast or in Australia.