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Pharmacist Amir Hanna wins in-principle support for Port Macdonnell development

Key points:

  • A pharmacist has in-principle support to development on a former boatyard site in Port Macdonnell
  • The council says it has been waiting for the right development to be proposed
  • The developer is seeking out an architect to create a design that aligns with the council’s vision

Plans to turn a large vacant block on Port MacDonnell’s foreshore into a major mixed-use development are one step closer to realisation.

The old boatyard site at 55 Sea Parade has long been earmarked as a prime location for development opportunities.

After decades of vacancy, the District Council of Grant has given in-principle support of concept plans from local pharmacist and business owner, Amir Hanna.

The initial proposal includes a mixed-use development featuring retail and hospitality offerings, tourist accommodation, the potential for residential apartments, and a pharmacy and medical hub.

Mr Hanna said he considered the council land when business grew during COVID.

“We started giving COVID vaccines and the service increased a lot … and we wanted more space,” Mr Hanna said.

“And other businesses are interested as well, to have space when there are not many shops available [in Port MacDonnell],” Mr Hanna said.

Despite receiving much interest in the site over the years, District Council of Grant cheif executive Darryl Whicker said the council had been waiting to partner with the right person and vision.

“The reality is we could have sold that site probably 10 times over at least,” Mr Whicker said.

“It’s the best beachfront location in the South East, or probably the state for that matter.

“And that’s why it’s important to get the right development.”

Mr Whicker said the council had envisioned a multi-use purpose on the site for the past decade.

“The long-term vision for that site was for a vibrant street level retail uses with tourist accommodation above and behind,” Mr Whicker said.

“And we’re confident that working with Amir, as a partner, we’re going to achieve that vision.”

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In the architects’ hands

The council has formalised a Heads of Agreement and is allowing Mr Hanna to find a suitable architect to design plans.

“It’s going to be a beautiful building so we need to select the best,” Mr Hanna said.

“It’s going to be a landmark in Port Mac.”

Mr Whicker said the council was making considerations for the soil at the site.

He said the council had worked with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to investigate the contamination of the water table at the former boatyard.

“The EPA is certainly going to be a partner in this in terms of making sure that we get the right outcome,” Mr Whicker said.

“It’s really about getting the concept into a reality and agreeing on the design and putting that through to the planning system.

“Which then, depending on the contamination and the design, will then negotiate an agreement around the land.”

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