‘Highrise’ Harry says there is no oversupply on the horizon for Gold Coast’s apartment market

Gold Coast Bulletin

AUSTRALIA’S richest man “high-rise” Harry Triguboff has poured cold water on fears of a looming oversupply of new units on the Gold Coast.

It follows the leaking of a Macquarie Bank report that included three central city postcodes as risky areas in which to buy new apartments due to a looming glut.

Postcodes listed in the report are 4215, 4217, and 4218 centred on Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.

Mr Triguboff’s company, Meriton, which yesterday received initial council approval to build a 64-storey tower in Broadbeach, will officially launch its Sundale tower in Southport today.

The Sundale tower, Southport’s tallest at 55-levels, is close to completion with 550 apartments, of which 208 will be serviced.

Mr Triguboff, 83, told the Gold Coast Bulletin there was a need for more apartment towers as the city continued to grow.

“Once the building industry is working, the Gold Coast is doing well,” he said.

“There is a big demand for Gold Coast property by tourists.

“I think it (the number of towers) will grow and grow.

“’m sure we can have many more — there’s nothing to worry about.

“However, you can’t do this in one day.”

He said his track record on the Coast showed he has confidence in the city.

“I put my money where my mouth is,” he said.

Mr Triguboff said the Coast needed to improve key facilities such as the Gold Coast Airport which, he said, made a poor impression on visitors and was far worse than other regional airports, including Canberra.

“That airport has to be fixed,” he said.

“That is the first impression people get when they arrive.”

The veteran developer also weighed into the debate over funding for candidates in the local government elections, saying he believed campaigns should be publicly funded.

“I don’t want anyone to get donations (through private individuals or companies),” he said.

“I think they should be publicly funded.”

Mr Triguboff said donations were unnecessary.

“It is so wonderful that to build in Queensland you do not have to bribe anyone.”

Mr Triguboff topped the BRW Rich 200 List last month, pushing mining magnate Gina Rinehart down to fourth after five years at the top.

His wealth was estimated at $10.6 billion after the property boom caused the value of Meriton to skyrocket.

Meanwhile Mr Triguboff has allowed a mother and her son to move into his latest tower ahead of its official opening so they don’t have to “camp” out at a hotel.

Mr Triguboff, Australia’s richest man, helped to fast track Nancy and Jonathan Gyde’s early arrival four days ahead of the launch of Sundale, Southport’s tallest building.

The duo, who moved to the Coast from Victoria 12 months ago, are Sundale’s first residents after having bought a two-bedroom apartment on level 24 for $595,000.

They were living in a unit in Main Beach where the lease was due to expire and faced a few nights in a hotel unless they could gain early possession of their new apartment.

Mr Gyde said they were excited to be the first residents.

“For the past 12 months I’ve been watching progress on the tower from our Main Beach balcony,” he said.

“It wasn’t until February that we decided to buy in Sundale.

“We decided we’d like something with new fixtures and fittings and on top of that, we’ve got fantastic views north over the Broadwater.”

Meriton is settling contracts on apartments in two stages, with the first tranche those units up to level 24.

Work on the floors above level 24 is continuing, with the tower’s completion scheduled for September.

A retail area includes a Woolworths supermarket which opened last week.

Sundale is the final building in a 1670-title development that Mr Triguboff embarked upon 12 years ago after buying the former Sundale shopping centre site for $54.5 million.

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