Tycoon’s vision: build it and they will come
INVESTMENT property tycoon Sid Knell chose to put his money into Gladstone's CBD, but the boost to 4½ star accommodation will also allow the city to welcome more tourists and city dwellers.
Gladstone's community leaders added that with a variety of accommodation now on offer, the city had greater choice and capacity.
Gladstone Regional Council supported the move to build in the CBD, which is part of its long-term vision for a vibrant city centre.
The addition of the recently completed Gladstone Central Plaza on Oaka Lane, and the recently acquired Curtis Central Apartments on Goondoon St, brings together three facilities in the Central Apartment Group, along with the existing Gladstone City Central also on Oaka Lane, which was the site of Thursday night's official opening of the newest properties.
Next on the cards for the developer will be Gladstone Central International, which will be a redevelopment around Goondoon St - but not for another five years.
"We have to wait until the town and the council is ready for that," Mr Knell said.
"People have a sense of urgency to get this town moving, not because of the industry, but people's attitudes to getting things done."
Mr Knell said it was the GCC's five-year anniversary, and a lot had changed.
"When it opened the town wasn't going terribly well, then it was going too well and we couldn't get enough people in," he said.
"The last couple of weeks shows the town moving again."
Mayor Gail Sellers said the accommodation would bring more people to the city centre, "which is great".
"We've got a focus on the entertainment centre and getting people to stay in the city," she said.
Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Ltd chief Glenn Churchill said the group was another diversification for the city.
"When we had the growth, we didn't have the facilities," he said.
"People ask why developments are approved - we have to be ready for the people," Cr Sellers added.