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Churchill Moves Ahead on $55m Ashmore Markets

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

Brisbane-based development group Churchill’s planned $55-million dining precinct on the Gold Coast has been approved.

The 9000sq m, L-shaped Gold Coast site at 1-7 Reed Street in Ashmore will now be transformed into a two-storey foodie haven—Ashmore Markets—after the project was greenlit by the Gold Coast City Council.

The site, formerly the home of the popular Ashmore Seafood and Steak restaurant, was purchased by the group in 2021.

In February, the developer lodged plans, drawn up by C2 Architecture, for a new retail complex featuring floor-to-ceiling glass to enhance natural light, as well as modern amenities that will “restore the glory of this site” and create a community hub.

The development is the second food-market-style project Churchill has pitched for south-east Queensland. The other is Barns Lane Farm in Coolum on the Sunshine Coast which is slated for a paddock-to-plate venture and won approval earlier this year.

The Ashmore complex, which will front the corner of Reed Street and Ashmore Road, will offer 5000sq m of commercial space, including a full-line premium grocer.

The precinct will also include a medical centre and chemist, as well as beauty and specialty retailers and ​​227 carparking spaces for tenants and customers.

The suburb of Ashmore has benefitted from the recent property boom on the Gold Coast with the median value of houses in the area rising above $1 million over the past year, an increase of 26 per cent.

Churchill Development Group general manager Ben Bailey said the increase in interest in the area has subsequently created a demand for premium retail and hospitality offerings.

“We have dedicated around 70 per cent of the centre to food and beverage retailing, which will be the majority of the tenancy mix,” Bailey said.­­­­

“Cafes and restaurants with a focus on delivering fresh, quality food along with a bottle shop, wine bar and full-line premium grocer will be part of Ashmore Markets.”

The new grocery store will dominate the upper level of the complex, while the healthcare centre and loading bays would take up the lower floor.

Churchill Developments will be encouraged by the weight of capital seeking exposure to neighbourhood retail assets on the Gold Coast.

Earlier this year, Brisbane fund manager IJ Capital cashed in a 50 per cent gross capital gain in less than two years on a Gold Coast neighbourhood mall—the Coles-anchored Benowa Gardens, west of Surfers Paradise.

Churchill is now planning to announce a number of high-quality operators that they have partnered with at Ashmore Markets with leasing opportunities from 120sq m and up to 1000 square metres.

Construction is expected to commence later this year with completion projected for early 2024.

In Brisbane, Churchill is also moving ahead with plans to develop Breakfast Creek Quarter after being given the green light late last year to build the commercial precinct on the 6800sq m site nestled between the Mercedes Benz Flagship building and Bunnings in Newstead.


Ted Tabet - The Urban Developer - Journalist


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