Panel Approves Firstlight Plan

|  By Owen Jacques, Noosa News, 26 January 2010

A prestige development worth more than $250 million is the first project on Hastings Street to be given the all-clear by the Noosa Iconic Panel, which was founded in late 2008 to ensure the character of the area remained.

Firstlight will stand on the current site of the oceanside Seahaven Resort complex, which will be demolished later this year and replaced by the sprawling 20-unit block.

It is believed each apartment will be worth up to $16 million, but there will be the ability for multiple buyers to pool their money as co-owners. As many as eight others can each have an investment worth between $1.8 million and $2.4 million.

Firstlight director and global head of sales Joe Buchanan, speaking through a thick American accent, said the development would include up to 11 retail centres and he was aiming for exclusive boutiques rather than the large-scale brand names that punctuated other holiday getaways.

"We want unique, one-off Australian boutiques," he said.

I don't think we want a line of Gucci, Prada and Louis Vuitton stores because they're all over the world."

Mr Buchanan said the appeal of the project was people in Noosa always wanted to see something new for the tourist strip.

"People are happy to see something new and high-end to come to Hastings Street.

"I think Noosa has its own classic charm but people I talk to from Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane have told me that the accommodation has become quite dated."

He said even before Firstlight was formally released to the market next month, there had already been pre-sale interest from around the world, with potential buyers from Hong Kong, New York, California, Britain and Singapore.

The project will include an "infinity pool" spanning 56 metres along the beachfront, including a separate children's area and a 25-metre lap pool and a poolside lounge and cafe area.

There would also be a rooftop lounge and pool with 360-degree panoramic views.

But before construction of the mammoth beachside oasis can begin, Mr Buchanan said the company would aim to sell about 40% of the properties. Opening date is slated for April 2012.