Syrian billionaire planning marina bid


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Billionaire developer Ghassan Aboud. IMAGE: GA Group.

ENTREPRENEUR Ghassan Aboud could be planning a hotel development at The Reef Marina.

News Limited today published extracts of a letter from Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu to the CEO of the Syrian billionaires GA Group which confirmed a recent meeting between council and Cairns based construction company Prime Group.

The Cairns developer is building three new hotels in CBD for Aboud’s newly formed management company Crystalbrook Collection - which he acquired from Port Douglas businessman John Morris.

The extracts of Mayor Leu’s letter to GA Group’s Mark Davie, as published by News Limited, states, “I refer to our recent meeting with Prime Group who details the interest of GA Group in investing in a Hotel Development within the Reef Marina Precint. I wish to thank you for the meeting and the opportunity to hear about your company’s plans,” Leu said.

“My council welcomes investment interest in our shore and we look forward to working positively with you on your proposed projects.”

Aboud’s new Cairns based projects are valued at more than $300 million.

Leu goes on to explain in the letter, “...we do consider ourselves as the guardians of a very special part of the world in Douglas Shire, and again respectfully take this opportunity to highlight the priority that we give to environmental and appropriate design outcomes in all planning applications.

“An investment of this scale in Port Douglas is of great interest to Douglas Shire Council and we look forward to receiving your proposal”.

Douglas Shire Council approved an $85 million development application by the The Reef Marina earlier this year. The plans include 85 waterfront apartments, a boardwalk and rainforest walk and new shopping and entertainment precinct in Port Douglas.

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