We had a chance to catch up with ARG Pty Limited’s managing director Peter Walsh (pictured far right) recently when he was in town, officially handing over the site to the construction group for the start of Carnegie Cove, the company’s over 55s private estate development at Bonny Hills.
> Hi Peter. The dirt has finally been turned for Carnegie Cove – this has been a long time coming. You must be excited.
Yes, we are. It has been a long gestation period with countless time spent in planning, working with all stakeholders and finally being in the position to hand the site over to Bendix Group for the commencement of works.
Preliminary site setup commenced on Monday of last week and we will see heavy machinery onsite within the next week. Initial works will commence on the first staged upgrade of McGilvray Road, with works following on within the site. We plan to have the first dwellings ready for occupancy in 12 months.
> Has the current global economic climate caused the project and ARG any issues ?
Yes, like many businesses and development companies around Australia we have felt the impact. In the most part, the major impact felt by us hasn’t been with the buying market. It has been restricted to the critical shortage of development funding that has been experienced since this crisis first came on the horizon.
Luckily for us we have had the support of our bankers throughout, and while we have incurred some 10 months in delays in renegotiating our funding packages, we are very pleased that we are out the other side with the project going forward. Fortunate for us, but as we all know, it has not been as fortunate for many other developments.
> Carnegie Cove has been described as “The ultimate in exclusive luxury living for the active over 55s.” What are some of the stand out features of the development?
Carnegie Cove, we believe, will set a new benchmark in the style of living expected today by the over 55s active retiree. This initial stage, which consists of 102 dwellings, is set over 134 acres of natural parklands which forms apart of the company’s 1038 acre holdings in Bonny Hills.
We have two separate residential precincts within the site that are gated for both privacy and security. A public main boulevard enters the eastern end of the site off McGilvray Road and exits at the western end back onto McGilvray Road. Designed to complement the natural landscape at the eastern entry is what we have called ‘The Village’, which is a retail, commercial centre housing a medical centre, pharmacy, general store (mini-mart) and a coffee / snack shop.
There is a central mall, car parking and an alfresco area. ‘The Village’ is open not just to residents but the general public and will provide the community of Bonny Hills with its own unique local shopping village.
In the western end of the site we have the central facility which houses the private residents’ lounge and multi-purpose hall, a public restaurant, gymnasium, beauty/hairdressing salon/centre, pool complex, tennis courts and BBQs.
While some of the facilities are exclusive to residents, many of the others, like the restaurant, coffee shop, and gymnasium are open to the public.
Many other features will be included during the various stages of development, such as nature walks, amphitheatre, public open spaces. We believe that Carnegie should not just be about servicing the needs of its residents, but creating an integrated community that shares and blends with the broader residents of Bonny Hills, providing many facilities not currently available in the community..
> When we took a drive around the property there was plenty of wildlife like kangaroos and deer. How will the development go about preserving their habitats, and what has been done so far to make sure you keep in line with your vision of being an ecologically friendly development?
Our resident wildlife is quite interesting and has become very friendly. We believe that the efforts to date taken by our company and that of various contractors on the site will ensure what has become resident wildlife over the last few years will remain.
Imagine walking outside your house in the morning to sit down and enjoy that first coffee and looking out over the treed parklands and seeing a doe and her fawn or one of the resident mob of kangaroos grazing alongside your backyard.
ARG is committed to maintaining the natural beauty of the site, and to that end we have master planned the entire development to suit. Unlike many developments that we see where the land is clear felled, we have maintained the majority of trees with a minimal number being cleared for development.
This maintains the beauty of Carnegie Cove, and it is something that we are proud of as a company. We have a very strict onsite policy for all contractors with regards to the preservation of our flora and fauna, and as can be seen, our own onsite grounds crew keep the property in a pristine parkland setting. This will remain throughout the construction and the project’s life.
Carnegie will demonstrate how a development and its residents can live harmoniously with nature, benefitting and at the same time enjoying the relaxed environment that we have ensured will remain.
> We also hear that there will be a Jack Newton Championship Golf Course. Is that true?
Yes. As you would know, the original DA development included the golf course; however, we elected to defer that side of the development until a further staging.
Subsequently we have been tweaking the design and layouts, while maintaining discussions on the planned course with both state and local planning authorities and will shortly re-lodge a new DA application for the signature ‘Jack Newton’ championship 18 hole golf course, country club, and boutique hotel.
We believe not only will the proposed golf course and its facilities meet the excess demand from the local community, but it will serve as a major tourism drawcard to the region, providing a much needed destination at the southern end of the coastal strip of the Hastings. Obviously this has its distinct advantages, with employment opportunities and income for local business operators.
> Would you like to tell us more about the proposed resort/ boutique hotel?
We are in discussions with two well renowned hotel operators (5 star) that are very interested in the proposed development. Both operators manage currently sought after destination hotels/resorts for both Australian and international tourists.
The proposed hotel with the championship golf course and country club will include restaurants, bar, day health spa retreat, function and convention facilities.
We believe that such a destination will not only appeal to the golfer, but will be a sought after destination as a corporate convention, the family holiday or those just seeking a relaxing health spa retreat.
> We believe there are further planned stages for the Carnegie Development ?
Yes, ARG’s vision, as I think you have learned from our discussions, is not just to develop what we have specifically discussed today, but in addition we have further plans to develop a unique eco-tourism project, nature trails and bush walking facilities over the 1038 acres.
Quite obviously it is a little premature to share all of these visions now, but we look forward to discussing each in greater detail when the time is closer to a roll out.
> Thank you Peter and good luck with the development.
To learn more about the Carnegie Cove Development visit their website www.carnegiecove.com.au