by James Graham
CANNONVALE'S long-vacant roadside golf driving range and neighbouring housing estate looks set for a new lease on life.
Christie Leet, principal of PRDNationwide Whitsunday, confirmed this week that Regatta Waters, which has the capacity for more than 2000 lots adjoining Shute Harbour Road, has been bought by a national developer.
"I can't say who the new owner is, but we've signed a contract with the buyer which is due to settle next year,” Mr Leet said.
The first lots at Regatta Waters went on sale at the end of 2013, with the golf range launching to much fanfare a year later.
But the development, along with a proposed 18-hole golf course, stalled when the former owner Latitude Development Group went into receivership in March, 2016.
"Regatta Waters certainly didn't go into receivership because of Regatta Waters; it went into receivership because of a bigger problem,” Mr Leet said.
"The former owner lost property up and down the coast.
"As a result, things like the driving range probably weren't maintained as well as they would have been under a normal ownership.”
While details of the exact plans to kick-start the estate remain confidential, Mr Leet expects the developer will continue on the "development journey”.
"Before the settlement, they'll continue on with the existing stage, finish that off and think about the balance of the estate.
"They're certainly going through the planning phase to see what they want to do, and what they think the market is going to absorb.
"Without saying too much, they've bought well so they can afford to invest in the rest of the development.
"It's a good thing for the town.”
As for the public driving range on Shute Harbour Road, it's still zoned as public open space so Mr Leet said there was no reason why it wouldn't reopen.
All the hitting bays are still in tact after the cyclone and apart from a few minor cosmetic repairs, the range appeared to only need the grass mown to make it operational again when the Whitsunday Times visited earlier this week.
The Regatta Waters sale continues an end-of-year real estate boon for the region.
The Whitsundays' most lavish mansion, Mandalay House, sold recently for a reported $16 million, and interest in the Funnel Bay estate continues to spike.
"We had eight sales in November [at Funnel Bay] and we'll do more in December,” Mr Leet said.