‘Business as usual’ for marina tenants despite development plans


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Tenants at the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina will be operating as normal for the remainder of 2018. IMAGE: Newsport.

TENANTS of the Port Douglas marina – now known as the Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina – are breathing slightly easier now that it has emerged the new owners do not plan to demolish everything at once.

Meetings have been held with Crystalbrook Collection and tenants have been advised that 'they will be safe' until at least the beginning of January 2019.

“No substantial works will be undertaken this year, it will be business as usual,” a spokesperson from Cystalbrook told Newsport.

“We are currently going through the planning process, which is anticipated to take four to six months.

“The marina, commercial, restaurant and retail facilities will continue to operate as they are currently throughout 2018, whilst our plans evolve.”

When the details of the new-look $200 million marina were made public in January, the Development Application – which is now with Council – revealed that the masterplan called for a ‘clean slate’ approach and the ‘complete re-development’ of the Reef Marina.

At the time of the announcement, council, current marina businesses and Crystalbrook Collection preferred not to discuss the possibility that it would involve a complete demolition of the current marina.

Crystalbrook Superyacht Marina is billionaire developer Ghassan Aboud’s fourth major investment in Far North Queensland. His tourism and hospitality group is planning to pour at least $200 million into the precinct to build a 100-room luxury waterfront hotel, 50 premium apartments and enhanced retail and dining areas.

“With our plans, we believe we can redefine the Australian marina experience and ensure Port Douglas is an essential visit location for high-end global travellers,” Aboud has said.

Although the Development Application is still with council, there are some who believe they are being kept in the dark.

Geoff Parmenter, owner of On the Inlet, who have re-located to Wharf Street, said although he hopes it all works out “I think we should be provided with updates.”

At the time of On The Inlet’s closure in October last year, there was a feeling that the location would become a white elephant. But Parmenter said he has moved on.

“Sure, it was a great venue, but life goes on and we’re happy where we are.”

On the Inlet has been fenced off and it is believed it will be demolished. It is unknown when.

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