Wisemans Ferry Surf Lodge Scrapped
A country club-style wavepool planned for Sydney's northern reaches has quietly been scuppered just months out from the planned opening.
To be set among 18.2ha of bushland an hour from North Sydney, the developers of Wisemans Surf Lodge proposed a "12,600sqm ocean-like, wave-generating pool, a chic hotel, restaurant and six-hole golf course." Unlike public wavepools, the project was to be funded by private investment and remain exclsuive to club members. The minimum investment was $30,000 which allowed four nights per year in the accompanying hotel, with platinum membership being $150,000 (plus $15,000 annual fee) which provided for 22 nights.
Professional surfers, Stephanie Gilmore, Josh Kerr, Joel Parkinson, Jack Freestone, Alana Blanchard, and Bede Durbidge had all been drawn in as financial partners in the project.
In both March and September 2022, following periods of heavy rain, Wisemans Ferry flooded with the level of the Hawkesbury River reaching the proposed level of the wavepool. However, a press release obtained by radio station Coast FM states the developers are handing back investors' money claiming economic conditions as the main hindrance.
"The recent news regarding the completion of our civil tender and the challenges we have faced in securing a viable price during a hyper-escalated market may have left questions (to be answered)," said a spokesperson in the statement, which was also posted on various Wisemans Ferry businesses through the week.
"Unfortunately, since the completion of our civil tender, we have been unable to secure a construction price that maintains an adequate contingency for the fund due to hyper-escalation.
"While we’ve completed several rounds of preliminary project pricing throughout this journey, to maintain an accurate and viable fund build-up, the development costs have changed so dramatically that simply adding more debt or equity to compensate does not preserve a viable financial model that the investment is based upon."
"No unitholders' funds will be lost, all investments will be refunded in full. Unitholder funds have never been used for any purposes and have been held in the Custodian's trust account as outlined in the PDS."