12 June, 2021
Dispute over new development
The Mackay Regional Council has been accused of killing-off its own $500 million, 6,000 job, riverfront CBD redevelopment.
Following years of negotiations, a closed tender was sent last month to the Sentinel Property Group and to Mackay property developers, Sean Kelly and Craig Percival’s ReNew Mackay Group.
However, half of the Council’s CBD redevelopment along the Pioneer River may now be in tatters, after the Sentinel Group has angrily withdrawn its participation.
A cross Executive Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, Warren Ebert told The Mackay Local News that ‘Sentinel won’t participate any further’.
“The Mackay Council accepted our proposal and then months later changed its agreement with us, even though it had accepted our proposal,” Mr Ebert snarled.
This newspaper understands that half of the Council’s CBD redevelopment plans collapsed, after the Council allegedly went back on promises with Sentinel to be an anchor tenant for over 200 Council employees and rent a large amount of new A Grade office prime space in the riverside office redevelopment.
Sentinel appears to have put this rental agreement in its tender submission, believing it had an agreement.
Mr Egbert added that ‘Sentinel has plenty to do with $1.25 billion in property developments projects across Queensland and we won’t participate any further’!
However in an unofficial test of strength and a battle of words, the Mackay Regional Council is understood to hotly dispute and contradict Sentinel and Mr Ebert’s allegations.
It is understood that the Mackay Regional Council claims that Sentinel has not withdrawn its redevelopment proposal and is simply seeking to force the Council to provide significant development concessions.
The Mackay Local News has also been advised that Council has never had a formal or written agreement with Sentinel for it to be an anchor tenant and move hundreds of Council office staff into Sentinel’s planned glamorous riverside office redevelopment in the CBD.
Sentinel’s withdrawal cancels redevelopment of its two inner city sites on the Gregory Street carpark and at 14 and 18 Woods Street, for an eight-story luxury hotel, plus an A-grade and upmarket, four-story 1,200 square metre office and retail building on the river.
Sentinal’s aggressive clash with the Council also comes in a week when three prime and adjoining riverside properties at 15 to 19 River Street were auctioned last Thursday by Knight Frank. These properties with 50 metres of river frontage have a combined area of 1,617 square metres.
Sentinal’s withdrawal and now public dispute with the Mackay Regional Council leaves local business identities, Sean Kelly and Craig Pervical’s ReNew Mackay on its own as the sole redeveloper of the Mackay CBD, for four river sites including the Brisbane Street carpark, parkland at the Pioneer Shire Chambers building, plus 6 and 8 River Street.
Renew Mackay Director, Sean Kelly said that his property group will continue with its redevelopment plans.