THE first stage of the $700 million Southport Central development, Tower 1, has been officially opened by Queensland Premier Peter Beattie.
The 40-level tower, on the corner of Scarborough and Lawson streets, is the first of three towers to be built on the mixed-use site, which formerly housed the Southport State School.
Tower 1 comprises 31 levels of luxury residential apartments set above eight levels of commercial office suites and a thriving ground-floor retail area.
The triple-tower development is the largest mixed-use development under construction in Australia.
Raptis Chairman Jim Raptis says the opening of Tower 1 marks the continuation of the revitalisation of one of the Gold Coast's most historic suburbs.
"After years of being overlooked in favour of other areas like Surfers Paradise and Main Beach, Southport is now undergoing a renaissance of major proportions,'' says Mr Raptis.
"People now talk about the changing face of Southport and we are extremely pleased to be able to share in the transformation of this great suburb. Southport Central will have a greater impact on urban renewal than we have seen with the Towers of Chevron Renaissance, in Surfers Paradise, and our earlier developments, like the Phoenician in Broadbeach," he says.
"It is encouraging people back to Southport, not just from a business sense, but to live, shop and dine."
The three towers will dominate the 1.8ha site, offering panoramic views across The Broadwater, the Surfers Paradise skyline and The Hinterland.
Tower 1 features 268 apartments in a range of two and three bedroom layouts from 71sqm to 130sqm.
Settlements of residential apartments in Tower 1 were finalised in August, paving the way for the arrival of the project's first residents. The building's retail and commercial component also has been well received by the market.
When the total development is complete, Southport Central will deliver 730 new luxury apartments, some 350 commercial office suites and 75 ground-floor retail tenancies.