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Townsville property tycoon entertains national railway operator in multi-use land development

Townsville Commercial Property Tycoon - Satellite view of the old freight railway yards acquired by Honeycombs with site of North Queensland Stadium on the bank of Ross Creek in foreground

Townsville property 2nd largest multi-use land development

Townsville property developer, Honeycombs Property Group and railway operator Aurizon have reached a partnership agreement to develop 19.3 hectares of disused land of the former freight yards at South Townsville adjacent to the proposed North Queensland stadium.

The site was earmarked by the State government and local leaders to be included in the Waterfront Priority Development Area (PDA) on Ross Creek as an integrated entertainment and convention centre precinct with the North Queensland stadium project which commenced construction last month.

However, the railway yard site was excluded from the Waterfront PDA due to the timeline of Aurizon relocating its freight business to Stuart, south west of Townsville, but the site still remains a critical part of Townsville’s master plan CBD revitalisation.

The site is subject to residual risks of contamination impacting the soil caused by the heavy industry operations of the railway by the Queensland government for nearly a century.

One of Townsville’s largest strategic land holdings, the old freight buildings that remain on the site today are heritage listed.

In the rail operator’s announcement of the multi-million dollar deal, Aurizon said that it was delighted to work with Honeycombes Property Group to redevelop valuable inner city land previously occupied by the railway yards.

After the Port of Townsville, the site is the largest land holding within or adjoining Townsville’s Priority Development Area (PDA). It is one of the last large mixed use development sites strategically placed to benefit from the focus and opportunities being derived from the PDA.

“Aurizon has long been committed to ensuring that the former rail site supports the future development of the Townsville Stadium and contributes to economic development in the surrounding community,” said Aurizon Managing Director & CEO, Andrew Harding.

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“The initiative also reflects Aurizon’s commitment to assist with regional renewal in key operational areas for the Company where Aurizon employees live and work.

“Following our relocation and investment in a consolidated rail and freight facility at Stuart, we have worked hard to ensure that an experienced, local development partner can rejuvenate the site for the benefit of Townsville’s community.”

Aurizon’s engagement with Honeycombes is a natural extension of the successful redevelopment partnerships on other former rail yard sites including the Townsville North Yard and disused rail land at Mackay.

Peter Honeycombe, Managing Director of Honeycombes Property Group said that a long term development strategy for this site will maximise its contribution to the CBD.

“The location of the site, in conjunction with the new North Queensland Stadium and the PDA, will ultimately be of significant benefit to the end users, particularly those working and living within Townsville’s city centre.”

“It is an exciting time to be developing in Townsville. Our vision for South Yards includes a diverse mix of residential, retail, commercial and entertainment – we’ve already had interest from national businesses,” Mr Honeycombe said.

Honeycombes have already made a significant contribution to the revitalisation of Townsville’s CBD over the last 17 years. Honeycombes have developed 12 projects within Townsville CBD including more than 560 apartments and 14,000 sqm of retail and office space. This has provided homes and offices for more than 2,400 people living and working in the CBD.

Along with the development of their master planned Central precinct on the North Yards site – a parcel of land located directly across Ross Creek to the north from the new stadium it was recently announced that Honeycombes are also developing, with Sealink, the new $50 million Ferry Terminal on Ross Creek.

“Having the South Yards site in our portfolio, along with Central, will now enable us to compliment the activity from the Stadium and the PDA from both the north and south sides,” Mr Honeycombe said.

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Aaron M, Editior
Aaron is the founder and editor of TREN eMagazine with 15 years experience in the real estate industry investing and helping investors seek value, leverage value and capitalise on value, developing professional and technical skills and capabilities that have enabled his success in business from startups, adoption, asset growth, management and community leadership projects. Aaron also loves travelling, sports, his partner Jodie and helping people discover their "why" and find their few "what's" in life that realise the "wows. The " www" in is one of his why, what and wow's that strive to add valuable content and analysis for readers to participate and win.

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