LOCATION, LOCATION: Marketing agent Troy Mitchell from LJ Hooker Commercial has listed the Forestry Corporation's Jetty site.
LOCATION, LOCATION: Marketing agent Troy Mitchell from LJ Hooker Commercial has listed the Forestry Corporation's Jetty site. Trevor Veale

Jewel in Jetty crown for sale

THE Jetty strip is poised for a major transformation following the listing for sale of the Forestry Corporation of NSW offices on Harbour Dr.

The prime real estate has already caught the eye of local and metropolitan developers.

LJ Hooker Commercial marketing agent Troy Mitchell said the details of the sale were released on Friday and they already had a dozen expressions of interest by Monday morning.

"Given that interest in such a short time, I would say by the time tenders close on the 20th April there's going to be some good submissions."

So far interest has come from local developers as well as experienced high-rise apartment developers and Mr Mitchell said it's easy to see why the site has created such a buzz.

"It's like a gateway site to the Jetty, which a lot of people refer to as Coffs crown jewel. I think the redevelopment of this site will set the standard for future development in the area."

Mr Mitchell said the three-street-frontage site of 3,181 sqm has a mixed use zoning which will makes it suitable for a hotel, motel or apartments with shops and offices. The height limit for any building works is 19 metres, which translates to approximately six stories. The site also has a maximum floorspace ratio of 3:1, which allows a building of up to 9,543 sqm to be developed.

"I favour the idea of a high quality hotel with some ground floor retail, a café, restaurant," Mr Mitchell said.

"There's also demand for office space in that location. I think the mixed use zoning that council has is very appropriate and will give the successful developer a lot of room to move in respect to coming up with a proposal."

With a height allowance of 19 metres, a great view is guaranteed; the panorama will take in the marina, ocean, islands and across to the mountains.

It's a prospect that already has locals salivating. Mr Mitchell said one local real estate agent has already been contacted by locals wanting to buy into any future apartment development on the site.

"I can imagine great success with off-the-plan apartment sales, but potentially, because of the site's characteristics it might lend itself to higher and better use than just an apartment building," he said.

Whatever the future holds for the site, don't expect an overnight transformation.

Tenders close on the 20th of April, and Mr Mitchell said the successful buyer is likely to spend lengthy time planning their development.

"It can sometimes take 12 months to get plans and a development application prepared and approved by council, so what the Forestry Corporation are going to do is lease the building back for 1 year with a 1 year option," he said.

"Council will want a lot of involvement in respect to this site, they will want to see a development there that reflects the site's location and I think they will also want to see a standard of development which is commensurate with what they've proposed for the whole Jetty area."

But following the announcement, Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser called on the sale to be postponed until a time when the adjacent Forestry Corporation site is listed.

He said listing the lots as one large site, opening expressions of interest, and judging submissions to what is more beneficial to the community could attract greater development options for the Jetty.

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