THEY’RE BACK: Builder Eddy Lees, project manager Gary Johnstone and Ken Jordan of Ken Jordan Swimming Pools onsite .
THEY’RE BACK: Builder Eddy Lees, project manager Gary Johnstone and Ken Jordan of Ken Jordan Swimming Pools onsite . Contributed

Region rapt Lagoons@1770 no longer languishing in wilderness

AFTER five years in the wilderness, development on The Discovery Coast is back, and the most visible sign is the Lagoons@1770 site; again a hive of activity.

The 121-unit $50 million luxury resort fell foul of the Global Financial Crisis and has stood half-built as a symbol of a stalled economy for years between the townships of Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy.

But optimism is back in the southern parts of the Gladstone region, since the sale of the project last month to an investment superannuation fund, and the clean-up of the site is well underway.

Project manager Gary Johnstone is back as well, fulfilling his promise to the town to see the project through despite the financial problems with past developers and financiers.

"I think we had this conversation about four years ago and I said then that I would finish it - and here we are,'' Mr Johnstone said.

"It will take us about two months to do a bit of tidying up and rectification work to get it back to how it was, but then it should take about 12-14 months to finish it.''

The new-look Lagoons will now include a health and day spa, conference centre and bar and restaurant, along with the units all overlooking the spectacular central lagoon and island.

Mr Johnstone said 90% of the original sub-contractors who worked on the project before it was stopped back in 2008, will be re-employed on the revamped Lagoons@1770, bringing employment and money back into the local economy.

"Unfortunately a lot of people lost money when the GFC hit, including me, but we have worked hard to ensure it gets finished and brings something back to the local area.

"There is nothing like this here; a conference centre and all the facilities will make it a pretty attractive investment and provide plenty of employment opportunities.''