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Prime Island site goes on market, 30 years after Small family moved to Sth Straddie
LUCY ARDERN GOLD COAST BULLETIN APRIL 10, 2015
THE Small family is set to pack up and leave South Stradbroke Island, 30 years after they arrived, making way for a major developer to turn their modest resort into a 5-star attraction.
The Island Beach Resort and Couran Point development have just hit the market and an international search is being conducted to find a buyer for the prime island parcel.
The family’s connection with the island started in 1986 when Bruce Small, a distant relation of former Gold Coast mayor Sir Bruce Small, purchased 80 hectares of land there from the Co-Ownership Land Development company.
Daughter Katrina McCarthy said the family, which lived in Brisbane at the time, had not even heard of South Stradbroke, but the location soon became the centre of their world.
It has been a massive part of our lives,” she said.
“There is never a dull moment on an island.”
Three of Ms McCarthy’s brothers – Justin, Michael and Peter – still work there and most of the family own holiday houses at Couran Point.
But the Small family is keen to “get back to the mainland” and only go there for holidays from now on according to Ms McCarthy.
The fact that Mr Small just turned 81 is a major factor.
“We will be going over their for holidays,” Ms McCarthy said.
“We love the place.”
Ms McCarthy said the site would be attractive to a lot of buyers.
“Because it is all freehold, it is a blank canvas for who ever takes it over,” she said.
“Something really special could be done with the area.
“Everything could be demolished and they could put a new resort or villas there.”
Not long after he purchased the land, Mr Small sold off 54 hectares to US group Interpacific, headed up by Chuck Feeney, which went on to develop the Couran Cove Island Resort there.
So the parcel being sold measures 11.2 hectares and includes holiday accommodation, swimming pools, tennis courts, plus a large bar and restaurant facilities, a resort style pool and 42 marina berths.
The final lots that are part of Couran Point, which Mr Small started selling in 1999, are also part of the deal. A development agreement is in place with council covering the land, which gives the new owner the opportunity to redevelop the area.