An artist's impression of the new Marina Square project.

A new AUD$60 million mixed-use development featuring a 144-room four-star “international standard hotel” has been approved for Hervey Bay in Queensland’s Fraser Coast region.

The 17-storey ‘Marina Square’ project is a joint exercise by Hervey Bay Boat Club and advisory services firm, Club Property Solutions, which works closely with Clubs Queensland to design and implement strategies to maximise the use of property owned by member clubs. The former club acquired the site, which is currently being operated as a tourist park, in 2014.

Under the plans, the hotel will feature a ground-floor alfresco café, wellness and function centre and a rooftop bar in cooperation with a major international operator. The 144 keys will offer views over Urangan Harbour Marina and the Great Sandy Strait to Fraser Island – the world’s largest sand island and one of Australia’s most recognised and popular attractions.

The new hotel will overlook the Urangan Harbour and marina.

Future stages in the project will see 120 residential apartments built across two towers of 13 and 15 storeys in height. Authorities associated with the development say the Marina Square project is “pivotal in the delivery of Council’s vision for the redevelopment of the harbour precinct.”

Boat Club General Manager, Tony Bonello, said the site is the club’s neighbourhood and it has always been its objective to make it into all it can be for the community.

“That’s why we moved to acquire the lease when it became available,” Bonello said.

“We wanted to work with Council and the community in helping to shape a positive future for the harbour precinct.”

Great Sandy National Park is one of the Fraser Coast’s natural attractions.

Club Property Solutions Director, Greg Wilson, said the site’s zoning allows for development up to 30 levels, however the project’s focus has been on minimising scale while maximising amenity.

“Hervey Bay is seeing a major inflow of new permanent residents and, following from that, a wave of investment by retail majors and other businesses,” Wilson said.

“On top of this, visitors are streaming to the Fraser Coast for experience-based getaways and the events market is racing ahead as well. All of means a significant and sustainable increase in demand for a new standard of short-stay accommodation from both tourists and business travellers. Marina Square’s location and design mean that it is perfectly positioned to respond to that demand.”

The project this week received the support of the Fraser Coast Regional Council and is being backed by the Queensland Government as a regionally significant project. Hervey Bay was recently designated as the world’s first Whale Heritage Site for its commitment to whale and dolphin watching and sustainability.

Construction at the site is expected to begin in mid-2022.