The interstate developers lighting up the Gold Coast apartment market

Everyone has wanted a piece of the Gold Coast in 2021, both developers and buyers, interstate and local
The interstate developers lighting up the Gold Coast apartment market
Clockwise from top left: Yves, Mermaid Beach; Emerson, Kirra; V&A, Broadbeach; Aperture, Broadbeach
Joel Robinson December 15, 2021

Everyone has wanted a piece of the Gold Coast in 2021, both developers and buyers, interstate and local.

GV Property Group agent Luke Reaby, who sells amalgamated sites to developers across the whole of the Gold Coast, says the number of interstate developers interested in apartment sites went through a noticeable shift in 2021.

"Around half of our sales over the year went to interstate developers," Reaby said.

"Most, if not all of the developers we've spoken to who secured a site in 2021 have already secured a second or even third site, or are otherwise still on the hunt for another given the pent up demand for new apartments. However, given the lack of sites availble in desired locations such as Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach, Burleigh Heads, Palm Beach and Coolangatta, most are struggling to find prime land.

"Their belief is that the Gold Coast apartment market will thrive for years to come which is partly due to the interstate migration, affordability, proximity to the beach and of course the lifestyle."

We've taken a look at the Sydney and Melbourne-based developers who have made their mark on the Gold Coast.

Hirsch & Faigen

It was a stellar debut 2021 on the Gold Coast for the Melbourne-based developer Hirsch & Faigen

Their first project, Hemingway at Palm Beach, sold out all of its 78 apartments in a matter of months earlier this year.

They've sold over 60 per cent of their luxury Kirra Beach apartment development, Emerson, a collection of just 27 apartments on Musgrave Street.

Now the team, led by Daniel Faigen and Richard Hirsch, has launched Yves, a rare development in the sleepy Mermaid Beach.

Yves, again designed by Rothelowman, who has handled each of Hirsch & Faigenold Coast developments, will comprise three 25-level towers. They will home a total of 145 apartments.

The building's are crowned with outdoor rooftop seating, with the residential amenity located in the shared lobby, which Rothelowman designed as a greenhouse to create a suburban feel.

There will be a north-facing swimming pool as the centrepiece, as well as a pool and yoga deck, a gym, sauna, recreation lounge and barbecue seating.

The design is also a nod to the history of coastal masonry walk ups.

Faigen said Mermaid is still the best suburb on the Gold Coast, with the millionaire's row Hedges Avenue fronting the beach. He said the apartment towers of this size fit the location better than the sites of their previous two developments.

Macquarie York

The Sydney-based developer Macquarie York aren't new to the Gold Coast, but have really put their stamp in 2021.

Having nearly sold out their first Gold Coast project, Allure on Chevron Island, Macquarie York, led by managing director Roy Skaf, has two projects currently in market which they'll be selling in to 2022.

One is another on Chevron Island. Niña, less than 200 metres from Allure, will home 73 apartments in a 22-level building designed by Plus Architecture.

Plus Architecture, led locally by Danny Juric, cleverly designed Niña so every apartment can capture views of the ocean.

They call Niña's design "coastal sophistication with barefoot luxury," with one of the main design drivers the timeless curves, which will stand the test of time.

Macquarie York also have Ocean House, a luxury collection of apartments at Palm Beach, each with three bedrooms, a multi-purpose room, and 200 sqm of living area.

The development has been designed by the local architecture firm BDA Architects, who say the striking building is sculpted from inspiration from the surrounding natural environment of the movement of water and sand.

Little Projects

The Melbourne-based Little Projects branched out to Queensland a few years ago with their first project, Signature at Broadbeach, but really kicked in to life in 2021.

Following the sell-out of Signature, some 245 apartments, Little Projects tailored their next project to the high demand for luxury owner-occupier apartments. Their latest Broadbeach development, Aperture, has been a huge hit with buyers locally and interstate.

Aperture has just 29 apartments across the 35 levels, with 26 full-floor apartments with three bedrooms, three bathrooms and three parking spaces.

They start from $2.1 million, with every level of the 120 metre building offering uninterrupted ocean views from the balcony off the living area.

Speaking to Urban, Pyke says the team have a firm belief in the longevity of the Gold Coast apartment market, and are working towards securing more development sites heading in to 2022.

Iris Capital

Iris Capital were another making their move on the hot Gold Coast market in 2021. They recently launched their $800 million apartment project Victoria & Albert

V&A will have over 400 apartments across its two towers, which share a subtropical recreational podium, two levels of premium offices and commercial facilities and a fresh food and dining retail on the street level.

Iris, who are behind the $350 million redevelopment of the iconic Bourbon and Beefsteak Hotel in to 48 luxury apartments at home in Sydney, are heading in to 2022 with another local site secured, on the dress circle Garfield Terrace.

Arnaout said Iris Capital has been looking to expanding its operations outside of NSW for some time, initially exploring a move into Victoria.

“However, the way the market is heading and how buyers have responded to south-east Queensland has definitely driven our decision to expand further north as opposed to Victoria,” Arnaout said.

“The onslaught of investment and migration into south-east Queensland, the prospect of the Olympics in 2032 and regional growth over the next decade have certainly changed our strategic focus. For us, it’s a no brainer.”


Tim Gurner swooped on the Gold Coast in 2021, securing the Ferny Ave block owned by the collapsed Ralan, who had planned for two towers on the sprawling Budds Beach site.

In early 2022 GurnerTM will be launching the first stage of the $1.25 billion. Dubbed La Pelago, the 11,000 plus sqm space will now have four towers with nearly 1,000 apartments, around a quarter dedicated to a hotel.

The interstate developers lighting up the Gold Coast apartment market

La Pelago, likely named after the small commune in Italy, centralises on a private island theme, where each building is surrounded by over 9,000 sqm of amenity, lush tropical landscaping by SWA and pool-side water retreats, creating four private islands.

Gurner has appointed ICON to build the first 68-level tower. The build price is estimated to be over $350 million, and will take just over three years to complete.


Sydney's Abadeen Group launched their first project to the Gold Coast in 2021, starting in Palm Beach where they are developing Villea.

The 69-apartment tower at 26 Mawarra Street was a hit with local owner-occupiers and first home buyers, given its more affordable entry price compared to other projects in the area.

Justin Brown, the CBRE chairman who founded Abadeen over two decades ago, said the company was delighted to have purchased such a strategic site to enter the Gold Coast market.

“We are extremely excited with the purchase in what we believe is one of Australia’s premier beachfront locations,” Brown said when Villea launched earlier this year.

“We know the market is running very strongly on the southern Gold Coast, in Palm Beach particularly, and believe the market is primed for this project."

Macquarie Developments

The Sydney-based Macquarie Developments Group made a big move on the Gold Coast, having secured approval to develop the tallest tower in Broadbeach.

The Gold Coast City Council gave the development the green light, after Macquarie amended the approved application after they bought the site in October through GV Property Group.

Macquarie Developments Group has altered the development approval that they inherited back in 2016, which was for a 42-level tower.

Assana will now rise a further 11 levels, but will have considerably less apartments, down from 186 to 146, a move which sees the developer cater to growing trend of bigger apartments for the owner-occupier.

The slender, 52-level Assana, at 15 Rosewood Avenue, will be the tallest tower in Broadbeach, topping the nearby The Oracle Beach Tower, which peaks at 50 storeys.

Head of Development and Construction Peter Galvin said his team worked closely with Gold Coast City Council, Gold Coast-based Urban Planning Services, and award-winning architects SJB, to achieve a successful outcome.

“We wanted to improve on the existing DA because we felt we could deliver a better outcome for everyone – for us, the community, and future residents,” Galvin said.


The Melbourne property developer Pask has been in Brisbane for a while, developing greenfield sites around the capital for a number of years.

But they announced themselves on to the Gold Coast in 2021 when they launched Esplanade, its luxury Palm Beach apartment development on the sought-after The Esplanade.

Strong demand from buyers has seen half of the 16 residences snapped up prior to the project’s retail sales launch.

NPA Projects Director Andrew Erwin saying he's seen interest from Gold Coast locals, as well as from Brisbane, and Melbourne

"Great design and quality craftsmanship are what Pask are well-known for in Melbourne," Erwin says, highlighting their work at the Millswyn, a collection of eight luxury apartments, two penthouses and a restored heritage residence in South Yarra’s exclusive Domain precinct.

Weiya Holdings

The Sydney developer Weiya Holdings has nearly sold out its first Gold Coast apartment development, DE-LUXE, the apartment redevelopment of the 1930s cinema and Old Burleigh Theatre Arcade in Burleigh Heads.

The ground level and arcade will be retained and restored, and will see 13 levels of luxury apartments built above the space.

Just a few apartments remain in the Goodwin Terrace development, which could home Queensland's most expensive penthouse if the lavish spread fetches the $23 million asking price.

Their next project in the GC is Aalto, a 38-level luxury high-rise development on their recently acquired $50 million block of land at 75-79 Garfield Terrace, right on Northcliffe Beach.


The Sammut Group has been operating in the luxury residential apartment space in Sydney's Sutherland Shire region for the best part of three decades.

They made a name for themselves on the Gold Coast in 2021 with their near sell-out of their first project in Queensland, Coast, on the sought-after Garfield Terrace in Surfers Paradise.

Within weeks of lodging its development application earlier this year, it sold more than half of the 43 beachfront apartments.

"The kind of swift sale is unlike anything I have experienced in my 35 years in the industry," Sammut Group CEO and co-founder Allen Sammut said.

There were sight unseen, full-floor apartment purchasers from Sydney and Melbourne in recent weeks. The project is set for completion in late 2023.

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is the Editor in Chief at, managing Urban's editorial team and creating the largest news cycle for the off the plan property market in the country. Joel has been writing about residential real estate for nearly a decade, following a degree in Business Management with a major in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University in England. He specializes in off the plan apartments, and has a particular interest in the development application process for new projects.

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