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Kirra leads the way in Coast construction
14 Mar 2008, Jenny Rogers, Gold Coast Bulletin

THE southern Gold Coast skyline is once again dotted by cranes, signalling the renaissance of the sleepy southern suburbs.

Kirra is at the heart of the revival, kicking off a fresh phase in high-rise construction to rival the halcyon days of the 1980s.

More than half a billion dollars of luxury high-rise development is under way in Kirra.

The 'crane rating' used by former premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen to promote Queenland's booming economy, reveals at least five prestige apartment towers either finished or nearing completion in Kirra.

The suburb, once regarded as the ugly duckling of the Gold Coast and littered with two and three storey walk-up apartments, now has more beachfront development than any other area of the Gold Coast, apart from the traditional hotspots of Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.

"Kirra is one of the last beach suburbs on the Gold Coast to be developed and in the coming months everything that has been talked about will start to become a reality," said Adrian Parsons, who is marketing a range of projects in the Kirra precinct.

"Ten years ago, Kirra was largely ignored by buyers and developers, with very little in the way of progress and a limited number of people moving to the area.

"Now everyone wants to live in Kirra."

They are the luxury beachfront $40 million Wave, the $20 million Kirra Pearl, and the $90 million Pure, which is set to be launched this weekend.

There is also the $95 million Kirra Surf, a joint venture between the Macquarie Group and Parkview, on the iconic site which once held the famous Kirra surf shop.

The $90 million Elysee Residences being developed by joint venture partners Reward Developments Australia and True Grande Residences is due for completion mid-year.

Adding to the list is Niecon's $92 million Nirvana by the Sea.

Many of the towers contain the new phenomenon known as super-apartments -- luxury high-rise beachfront homes of more than 300 square metres and often just one apartment to each floor.

"The development being undertaken in Kirra will create some of the most luxurious and high-quality apartment buildings being built in Australia," said Mr Parsons.

Investment consultant Steve Brown is about to undergo his own sea change after buying into the Gold Coast's latest apartment hotspot.

Mr Brown moved from Sydney six years ago. He has been living in a cramped, two-bedroom unit in Broadbeach, but has just bought a spacious luxury seventh-floor beachfront apartment in Elysee.

The building features 22 super-apartments with an average price of $3 million.

"Now I really can start to enjoy the sea change," he said.

"I was tossing up between buying a house or a unit, because normally a unit doesn't provide enough space.

"But here there are only two apartments per floor and they are huge. They also have absolute beachfront views.

"To get the same with a house, I would have had to spend three times as much on Hedges or Albatross avenues."

Mr Brown loves the extra security and privacy of his super-home in the sky.

"If you're on Hedges Avenue everyone is always looking over the fence to see what you've got," he said.

"At Elysee you only have other like-minded private residents.

"You aren't on top of hundreds of noisy holidaymakers like at Surfers. Kirra is a sleeping giant."