BARGARA JEWEL: Final piece of land now bought
THE last piece of the puzzle to completing the groundwork for the Jewel high-rise development has been secured, with the developer taking ownership of the property at 39 Esplanade, Bargara.
The controversial development was called in in December last year and approved at six storeys in April this year by Development Minister Cameron Dick, with his decision superseding Bundaberg Regional Council's deemed approval of the project at nine storeys.
The minister's approval secured the development's future on the parcel of land on the corner of See and Burkitt Sts and the Esplanade.
The NewsMail previously reported all other blocks slated for the now-approved project had been purchased by the developer prior to lodging the development application in March 2018 for a combined sale price of $3.3 million.
But the developer and owners of the last remaining block, 39 Esplanade, had an agreement in place to finalise the sale after the development application was approved.
The delay to the approval ultimately delayed the completion of that sale, but Jewel Esplanade now officially owns the land, after securing it for about $1.2 million, around $330,000 more than it was previously sold for in 2014.
The property had been rented by one of Bargara's most recognisable characters since 2014, born-again Christian Miguel Vitale D'Amico, who publicly displays his faith from the front yard with a collection of colourful signs.
Mr Vitale D'Amico is well known among the Bargara community, where he takes full advantage of his oceanfront address, soaking up the sun and sea.
Jewel's approval means Mr Vitale D'Amico and his daughters will have to find somewhere else to live but it's not unexpected.
Mr Vitale D'Amico said he thought the development would be approved, believing it will be good for tourism and the economy.
But it will be bittersweet for Mr Vitale D'Amico who doesn't really want to give up his piece of paradise.
"We are blessed to have this home," he said in July last year.
"When the bulldozer comes, I'll say 'hang on', and I'll cross the road then. The high-rise is expected to be finished in 2021.
"I don't want to leave, it's beautiful here."