Quentin Tod column.
Quentin Tod column.

The problem with this Coast Bunnings

THE bosses at hardware heavyweight Bunnings probably thought they'd nailed it when they agreed to buy a Carrara site back in 2015.

Sadly, the 'road' to building a Bunnings warehouse on the site is proving a tortuous one.

The final destination - planning approval - remains over the horizon but Bunnings still is hammering away with its plan for the 10.86ha site.

The land on which Bunnings hopes to build is a triangular vacant parcel fronting Nerang-Broadbeach Rd
The land on which Bunnings hopes to build is a triangular vacant parcel fronting Nerang-Broadbeach Rd

The long journey by the Wesfarmers subsidiary is there for all to see - for more than two years a for-sale sign on the floodplain land on the western side of Nerang -Broadbeach Rd has sported an 'under contract' sticker.

It's that 'road' that appears to be the major sticking point.

More accurately, how customers of the warehouse are going to enter and exit the property.

A solution to so-called 'traffic modelling' issue appears to have been held up by the upgrade, now completed, of the nearby Gooding Drive roundabout.

In the meantime, Bunnings has been talking turkey to not just the city council but the Department of Transport and Mains Roads and the bureaucrats at the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning.

At one point an underpass was mooted to get traffic travelling south on Nerang-Broadbeach Rd into the site.

It appears it was decided that as the area is floodplain, that idea was not waterproof.

Meanwhile, Bunnings has come up with a solution to making the mooted 9157 sqm warehouse floodproof - it will be on piers.

It says the project will be a $51 million one and that it will create work for 180 people.

The site, which backs on to Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho's Palm Meadows golf course, has a colourful history.

It was for many years owned by a syndicate that included former tennis ace Ken Rosewall and rugby league legend Rex Mossop.

Fifteen years ago one-time shopping centre owner Paul Kyriakou and PlastaMaster operator Eric Palyiris lobbed in a successful $2.5 million offer for the land.

They at one point mooted four 12-level towers on the land but later curtailed their ambitions.

They went on to get approval for a development tagged Florina Gardens, with buildings of up to seven levels and equipped with evacuation boats.

The partners had to survive a city council challenge to their plans in the Planning and Environment Court.

The property was put on the market in 2015 the wake of Paul Kyriakou dying the previous year and Bunnings stepped forward.

The hardware chain put the site under contract, conditional on getting planning approval, and a price of around $8 million has been mooted.

If that approval comes through, and Bunnings pays up, the agents who handled the sale no doubt will be relieved.

Colliers' Darrell Irwin and Geoff Lamb probably aren't accustomed to waiting three years or so to get a commission cheque.