‘No comparison’: Twin blocks come with $18m price tag
UNLESS secret plans for an underground metropolis come to light soon, there aren't many places for large residential developments to go in Coffs.
Which is why two lots in North Boambee Valley - covering an area of more than 120 hectares - could be regarded as some of the most prized in a generation.
Located just a few minutes drive from Coffs Harbour and situated west of the proposed bypass, the lots are priced at an eye watering $9 million dollars a piece.
"There is no other land of this size - that is cleared - with the potential for good development within five minutes of the CBD," PRD Coffs Harbour sales agent Sean Campbell said.
"You are not going to build Coffs behind the Great Dividing Range - so that's it pretty much."
North Boambee Valley (West) was only recently rezoned as low density residential and a Developer Contributions Plan was ratified in 2019.
The rezoned land could potentially fit around 1000 new lots, with the majority situated on the two adjoining ones currently up for sale.
Mr Campbell has been talking with developers from all over the country in an effort to sell the 55 hectare lot at 290-290a North Boambee Rd and while its potential may be obvious to locals, the unique site has brought its own set of unique challenges.
Prospective developers want to know how fast they can sell subdivided blocks, however with comparisons in Coffs Harbour being few and far between, that has proven problematic.
"A development of this size hasn't really been done in Coffs Harbour for 15 years, with the Lakes Estate being the last larger site to be developed"," Mr Campbell said.
"Giving (developers) a rate-of-sale based on what the blocks in Moonee are selling at, is not realistic.
"It is difficult to demonstrate to them how quickly they could move the blocks and a lot of developers don't want to put their neck on the line because they don't know our market."
While the land has been on the market for almost a year, the neighbouring property at 170 North Boambee Rd has gone under contract according to its online listing.
Mr Campbell was confident the area could become something special, pointing to the vast popularity of the Lakes Estate as an example of what can be achieved with good vision.
"That area is so popular with families and retirees due to its convenience. It's close to town but is really nice with plenty of trees and bush surrounding you," he said.
"You go to other parts of Coffs and the median price might be around $550,000 but in the Lakes Estate your median price is around $700,000.
"There are definitely people prepared to spend good money to live close to town but still feel like they are not right in the middle of town."
The development of the North Boambee Valley (West) has been on the cards for decades and is the city's largest urban release area according to the Coffs Harbour Regional City Action Plan, currently being considered by the Department of Planning Industry and Environment.
That aspect of the plan has recently been criticised by retired engineer and strategic planner Tad Soroczynski who said it could increase flood risks in years to come.
Mr Soroczynski is concerned further development in the Boambee/Newports Creekcatchment will only put pressure on housing and infrastructure further downstream, namely the Coffs Harbour Health Campus which was inundated and cut off by floods in 2009.
The geographical constraints faced by Coffs Harbour have also been considered in Coffs Harbour's Compact City Program, outlined in their draft Local Growth Management Strategy 2020.
A key objective is to sustainably grow the population while minimising the expansion of the urban footprint through increasing density in areas such as the Jetty and Park Beach.
New developments would be infill or redevelopment in existing residential areas.