CHINESE developer 3 Oceans says the current market has made the iconic twin towers proposal unviable.
A spokesman confirmed the Scarborough development was “officially on hold” and said a comprehensive review following approval found it would not stack up financially.
“3 Oceans remains committed to delivering a high quality, iconic development that directly responds to the current market, and delivers real benefits to Scarborough and the broader community,” he said.
“However, the project needs to be financially viable for 3 Oceans to proceed.
“The 3 Oceans Board of management believes that a redesign of the project will result in a more feasible development that better responds to the market, and considers the feedback provided by the community.”
The spokesman said it was “assessing interest from potential joint venture partners” and would discuss possibilities for temporarily activating the site with the City of Stirling and the MRA.
Planning Minister Rita Saffioti confirmed the project at the former Contacio site was “on hold”.
She said the proponents met with the State Government on Wednesday to advise it would be “developing other options and will be engaging a new project design team”.
“While the advice is disappointing, the State Government remains keen to see the development of a well-designed building that reflects the significance of the site,” Ms Saffioti said.
“The MRA will continue to work with all of the proponents in the area to facilitate new developments.”
The $250 million proposal had included 43-storey and 33-storey towers featuring a hotel, apartments, restaurant, observation deck, market hall and ‘coastal experience centre’.
Community group Sunsets Not Skyscrapers, which opposed the proposal, said it represented an opportunity to ensure the “best development possible” on the site.
“We believe this presents an opportunity for the government and the community to work together to ensure an outcome that conforms with the planning framework and design guidelines agreed upon in 2016,” spokeswoman Janet Pettigrew said.
“This was missing in the tower proposal, which was totally out of character and scale of its surroundings.
“It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make Scarborough a place that is accessible and welcoming to all, not just those wealthy enough to own apartments with ocean views.”
The site is vacant after 3 Oceans demolished existing buildings late last year and Ms Pettigrew said the group wanted to see it activated by making it suitable and available for pop-up events or activities.