There is speculation Gold Coast Turf Club could include its recent purchase of a $6.6 million parcel of land adjacent to Bundall’s Aquis Park in its $38 million night racing transformation plan.

The GCTC bought back the parcel of land – between the track, turf club and an effluent facility – in April after plans submitted by then-owner Corcoris Group for a trackside hotel and apartments with infinity pool overlooking the home straight were rejected by Gold Coast City Council last year.

The 12,230sqm Racecourse Drive block was originally owned by Australian Turf Club Pty Ltd, then Bundall Racecourse Pty Ltd (which was deregistered in 2019), before being bought by Corcoris in 2015 for $3.2m.

The Corcoris plan was for three towers, including a six-storey 111-room hotel and two five-storey residential towers with a mixture of 1-3 bedrooms across 109 units which would have been connected by a podium to the course proper.

The rejected Corcoris hotel and apartment proposal for Aquis Park.

The rejected plans also included a function centre, car parking, retail tenancies and rooftop restaurant and deck overlooking the course and Gold Coast skyline.

Although the Melbourne-based Corcoris, headed by Nicholas Corcoris, lodged an appeal in Brisbane’s Planning and Environment Court, the appeal was rescinded in December last year. 

GCTC naming-rights sponsor Aquis Group was rumoured to be interested in developing its own project with development partner Aniko, headed by Gold Coast local George Mastrocostas.

In April last year, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the approval of $31.5m in funding to redevelop the 76-year-old racecourse into Australia’s most impressive night racing venue.

“This multi-million-dollar redevelopment will transform the Gold Coast Turf Club into one of the best racing venues in the country,” the Premier said.

“At the election, we made a promise to invest in new infrastructure to create jobs and rebuild the economy on the Gold Coast. We’re delivering on that commitment.

“This project will create jobs for local construction workers and will deliver great benefits for the local racing industry on the Gold Coast for years to come.”

The $31.5m comes on top of the $1.5m the Queensland Government has already provided for feasibility and planning. The GCTC is contributing $5m towards the project.

Tender documents have called for:

  • Installation of a new 16m wide all-weather synthetic track;
  • Realigned and upgrade B grass and plough training tracks;
  • Installation of a new equine tunnel for access to the infield;
  • Refurbishment to the grass course proper;
  • Installation of broadcast lighting elements to the Course Proper; and
  • Other ancillary items to support training, trialling and racing operations.

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