THE tick of approval for the $550 million C3 tower development is expected to be granted today when the proposal is brought before Cairns Regional Council.
The project, first announced early last year, involves the construction of one 24-storey high and two 23-level towers in Sheridan St, opposite the city’s convention centre.
Hailed by business leaders as a way to inspire renewed confidence in the Cairns CBD, the 796-unit complex will likely be a mix of residential and holiday accommodation, as well as office and shopping spaces.
Once built, the three towers will be the tallest in the city, with the smaller two measuring 69m above ground level and the taller reaching 72m.
They will dwarf the city’s tallest building – the Cairns Corporate Tower – by more than 13m.
Developers Frank Gasparin and Peter James previously told The Cairns Post construction of C3 would directly provide 100 fulltime jobs a year over five years and up to 240 jobs indirectly.
While communal facilities including a pool, barbecues, landscaped open spaces and a gym area have been proposed for the top podium of each building, the council’s officers have recommended these be for residents and guests only and not be open to the public.
The company behind the project is CIU1 Pty Ltd, a consortium of city property identities led by Mr Gasparin and Mr James.
The site – an old Queensland Rail property owned by the two developers – is not a stranger to grand proposals, with at least three now lapsed high-rise development applications presented to the council since 2005.
According to the developers, the site was also previously considered for a university and a performing arts campus.
Mr Gasparin, who lives in Cairns, yesterday said he and Mr James believed the time was now right for the towers, with the city’s economy on the turn.
“A few things need to happen for the city really to move on, and I think behind the scenes things are happening,” Mr Gasparin said.
While he said the Aquis casino mega development “would help”, he said C3 was not dependent on it going ahead.
Another large-scale project coming to the city is the $450 million Nova 8 seven-tower development on Spence St, with works beginning last year.
Approval for C3 is subject to normal utility, parking, and privacy conditions, as well as an assurance the towers won’t impact on air traffic.
Work is expected to begin late this year or early next year.