An artist impression of the apartment towers Lewis Land is planning to build next to the Harbour Town Shopping Centre
LEWIS Land, after a 40-year Gold Coast history in property development, appears set to turn apartment builder in its own right for the first time.
The group, started by the late Bernie Lewis in 1957, is planning apartment towers next to the Harbour Town Shopping Centre at Biggera Waters, which it built 17 years ago.
It’s lodged development applications for five buildings and it’s believed it has plans for another three in the pipeline.
All will be on the northern side of the shopping centre, with most around the small harbour that abuts the Dublin Docks Tavern and a Dan Murphy’s outlet.
Lewis apparently wants to include waterfront cafes, restaurants and offices in some of the buildings, which will range from six to 17 levels.
It appears there could be at least 500 apartments, a number that pales alongside the thousands of housing lots, mostly waterfront, that the company has developed on the Gold Coast.
Bernie Lewis, who died in 2004, cut his Gold Coast teeth in the mid-70s with the joint-venture development of Paradise Point Keys.
Other Lewis Land housing-land projects have included he Runaway Islands, Huntington Harbour, Keys Biscayne, Bayview Anchorage, and Grand Canal — all at the city’s northern end.
Then of course, there’s the diamond among its projects — The Sovereign Islands, a $1 billion land estate dredged up out of the Broadwater at Paradise Point.
Lewis also owned the adjacent Ephraim Island and it was developed in a joint venture with the ASX-listed Mirvac group.
Harbour Town was the group’s first major Gold Coast retail play and it has retained a 50 per cent stake in the $400 million centre.
The apartment tower plans appear to involve solely Lewis, who must feel confident of getting the nod for them.
The George Mastrocostas and Evan Raptis-run Emandar group and, latterly, Jim Raptis, have set precedents by getting the green light for, and building, apartment towers in the Harbour Town precinct on land bought from Lewis.
The Lewis request for development approvals reveals what’s termed ‘an indicative masterplan’ that covers a swath of its undeveloped land.
As well as apartments, the masterplan throws a marina and a childcare centre into the mix.
There’s no mention of plans for a long slab of land Lewis still owns on the eastern side of Oxley Drive and north of the Harbourside Market.
PUBLISHED IN GOLD COAST BULLETIN, 19 JANUARY 2016