A BUYER has come forward for the derelict Birubi resort.
Twelve bids were received on the Anna Bay property between April and May when administrators, Grant Thornton Australia, listed it for expressions of interest.
“A contract to sell the property has been signed, however the details of the sale remain confidential,” Grant Thornton receiver and manager Andrew Sallway said.
While Mr Sallway wouldn’t be drawn on the price he said it wasn’t enough to settle outstanding debts.
“While the local community will be pleased with this announcement, there will be a shortfall to creditors,” he said.
The mayor of Port Stephens, Cr Bruce MacKenzie, said he hoped to meet with the Chinese buyer within a week. He scotched rumours of a tourist park for the site.
“It will be a resort of some sort – I wouldn’t be happy with a caravan park,” Cr MacKenzie said.
“I want to see people coming here from Asia spending their money here.”
The resort has been the target of vandals since work stopped and security was pulled from the site.
Cr MacKenzie said the “cardboard cabins” would have to be scrapped but noted the restaurant was repairable.
“It’s a good site so I’m pleased with the outcome,” he said.
“Hopefully we’ll see construction on the site soon.”
And he was quick to caution people who might want to criticise the new owner.
“It was an Australian consortium that put it together, that went belly up, so we shouldn’t knock these guys.”
The four-star resort was to include 154 rooms and 500-seat function centre worth $50 million.
Work had started in 2011 but a pay dispute in May 2012 between contractors and resort owners brought construction to a halt. Resort financier, China Security and Surveillance Technology (through another company, Anke Smart City) didn’t appoint the receivers until February 2014.