Smiths Beach back on the market

Marissa Lague

Receivers KordaMentha have negotiated the final subdivision terms for the controversial Smiths Beach development at a State Administrative Tribunal mediation and are kickstarting another sales campaign, this time with more planning certainty after the first campaign failed to secure a buyer.

After almost 13 years of controversy and not a single building, the developers of the South West project Canal Rocks Pty Ltd, went into receivership in April.

According to documents lodged by Canal Rocks directors with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, it owes $20 million to NAB and the land is valued at $25 million.

KordaMentha has appointed Jones Lang LaSalle to gather expressions of interest for the 40.5ha coastal site in Yallingup, which has ocean views over Smiths Beach.

KordaMentha partner Cliff Rocke said the SAT mediation had de-risked the property.

"Now we've got certainty about what can be done on the property and potential purchasers won't be able to put in a value to compensate for that risk," he said.

Jones Lang LaSalle director of sales and investments WA, Phillip Fogliani, said the sale campaign would revisit some of the 120 inquiries in the first campaign, including several from South-East Asia, who were involved in the tourism sector.

"There was strong interest but there was also a level of uncertainty," Mr Fogliani said.

Mr Fogliani said the site had been described as the jewel of the Cape to Cape coastal strip.

"It's also going to be very hard to ever replicate something like this where you would otherwise have to have a huge setback from the coast," he said.

Under the conditional subdivision approval, the project will occur on a 19ha area with elevations ranging from 4m to 58m.

The land can be used for 61 single residential lots, four grouped housing sites and seven short-stay tourism lots ranging in size from 6089sqm to 1.02ha which can be developed to a density of up to 40 units per hectare. A 3.34ha resort site could also be developed to a density of up to 80 units per hectare, while provision had also been made for 1200sqm of retail and ancillary floor space.

The Smiths Beach project has been beset by problems and Canal Rocks' battle to develop the site was embroiled in scandal and misconduct allegations.

It led to a series of Corruption and Crime Commission hearings into the activities of lobbyists and the company, and the involvement of shire councillors and public servants.

Expressions of interest close on October 10.

Now we've got certainty about what can be done on the property. " KordaMentha partner Cliff Rocke