Private syndicate takes first steps to revive Port Hinchinbrook resort in Queensland

Private syndicate takes first steps to revive Port Hinchinbrook resort in Queensland
Private syndicate takes first steps to revive Port Hinchinbrook resort in Queensland

A private Australian syndicate has taken the first steps in its $450-million transformation of the cyclone-battered Port Hinchinbrook resort in North Queensland.  

The Passage Holdings, an Australian company linked to American businessmen Lewis Cohen and Stephan Pinto, has already spent $4 million on improvements.

Architects DBI design have been hired to work on the resort, which will be renamed Hinchinbrook Harbour and Resort and staged over 10 years.

DBI design’s masterplan for the resort includes a $45 million international fishing village, new marina, family resort, water theme park, 300-site motorhome park, camp grounds, backpacker accommodation and waterfront residential lots and apartments.

Pinto said the syndicate’s $4 million initial investment included around $500,000 on restoring the sewerage treatment plant, more than $2 million on the grounds and marina village, commercial building, street lighting and public access, plus $750,000 on masterplan designs and consultation.

The syndicate took possession of the resort and marina property last year and is preparing to settle on its $3 million purchase from liquidator FTI Consulting in coming weeks.

The resort’s restaurant/retail precinct is due to reopen in mid-July following repairs, while work is about to start on dredging the heavily silted harbour and the rebuilding the 266-berth marina.

The resort, which was battered by Cyclone Yasi in 2011, was first developed by the late Keith Williams adjacent to Hinchinbrook Island, near the historic village of Cardwell, during the 1990s.

The Hinchinbrook Island Resort closed in 2010, just prior to Cyclone Yasi, while the commercial tenancies at Port Hinchinbrook were closed in 2011, as a result of damage caused by the cyclone.

Liquidators took over the resort after Williams Corporation collapsed in 2013.

Pinto, who has developed residential and commercial property in the US for 35 years, said he was amazed at the value and potential of the property.

“I have been in real estate for a long time with experience in tourism assets worldwide - when I was informed about this project, I found it to be an interesting and compelling story,’’ he said.

“Having experienced Hurricane Katrina and the effects it had on our properties in Texas, I knew there could be an opportunity for our investment group. The impact of Cyclone Yasi had on Port Hinchinbrook was similar." 

Pinto established Allied Financial Services in 1993, which has an investor base which invests in opportunity-based real estate projects.

His American partner, Lewis Cohen, is president and founder of Diversified Products Group. 

 

 

 

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Queensland Resort

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