The Cove kicks off in Airlie
THE latest addition to Port of Airlie's ever-growing marina precinct is well under way.
The Cove, a housing development on the water in front of the Cruise Whitsundays terminal, was officially launched in June 2014, with seven of the 23 available lots sold in the first week.
Construction of the land site and estate entrance has now been completed, with building officially beginning on the purchased houses in the development late last week as the first house slab was poured.
Long time Whitsunday resident and businessman Colin Hounsell was the first to snap up a piece of paradise last year, identifying the development as a sound investment opportunity.
Mr Hounsell said it was hard to beat the location as a place for those moving to the region to put down roots.
"It's just pretty unique down there with the marina berth and on the water," he said.
"You won't get any closer to the water than Airlie Beach."
Despite the large price tag, with land sites going for up to $750,000, it appears a number of others have also decided the area is a worthy investment, with only seven of the original 23 home sites still on the market.
With the first houses expected to be finished in late October, Port of Airlie on-site sales manager Alan Robinson said everything was progressing as planned.
"We are thrilled with the development progress of Port of Airlie, with stage delivery on schedule and still more to come in 2015," he said.
"The finalisation of two years of marina objectives, the completion of marina maintenance dredging 2.5m in the main channel and new retail spaces opening are on track for completion this year."
The increase in capacity to the marina will see Marina E Arm deliver an additional 28 marina berths with 16m, 20m and 30m slots on offer.
With the development generating interest from wealthy investors, Mr Robinson believes there will be positive flow-on effects for the entire town in terms of economic growth.
"The interest in The Cove has definitely led to an overall increase in interest and value in other Port of Airlie residential estate offerings and we are proud of the contribution that Port of Airlie has brought to the town," he said.
"The Whitsundays is a worldwide recognised destination and we are proud of the progress made on Port of Airlie and believe it provides the town of Airlie Beach the vibrant, international atmosphere and facilities that it deserves."
Mr Hounsell agreed, saying investment in the development was opening up another source of cash flow for the region.
"It should attract a lot of people to the area spending money," he said.
The Cove isn't the only change to the port however, with international resort operator Mantra Group beginning operations at the Boathouse Apartments, new businesses taking up residency in the retail district and a revamp of a local restaurant increasing their seating capacity to 110.