Developer not cutting ties with Port despite sale


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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The proposed Ferrero Road development site. IMAGE: Supplied.

WAKS Development’s Steve Thomas, the man behind the $60 million, 160-home retirement village on Ferrero Road which Council refused to rezone the rural land as residential, has sold his million-dollar mansion on the same road but says this does not mean he is lost to Port Douglas.

“I’m not cutting my ties with the port. Definitely not. Over the past 20 years I have been involved in numerous projects and intend to maintain my relationship with what is a wonderful part of the world,” said Thomas who lives in New Zealand.

“But as for future developments, I’m 65, I’ve run out of steam. I’ve run out of ideas. It’s time for others to take up the mantle.”

Thomas said as he is involved in a confidentiality agreement he cannot divulge what he received for the sale of his house.

The retirement village, which received considerable support within the community, was a disappointment for Thomas when he had to pull the plug.   

“This had been a passion of mine and I personally wanted to see it happen. But I am also a realist and if the environment is not right, then so be it,” he said at the time.

Thomas said although there had been progress – he had been driving it for 10 years – there would still have been a long road ahead had he continued his quest to make it happen.
“My biggest disappointment is that the community needs a retirement village and it would have been great to have delivered,” he said.

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