FUTURE PAST: Developer Mark Stockwell at Noosa Civic Shopping Centre opening.
FUTURE PAST: Developer Mark Stockwell at Noosa Civic Shopping Centre opening. Photo by Geoff Potter/ n15908g

Civic goes back to original Mark in hefty buy-back

NOOSA Civic has gone back to the future with the man behind its construction, former Olympic swimmer Mark Stockwell, buying the shopping centre back.

Reports are that Mr Stockwell paid up to $250 million to the Queensland Investment Corporation.

News of the sale emerged at a ratepayer public question and answer time in Noosa with mayor Tony Wellington.

QIC failed in its bid to expand the Civic with more retail space after it took control of the property for around $200 million.

Cr Wellington was asked about any future expansion plans there and said "that's an interesting question”.

"It's now been bought back by Mark Stockwell's business - it's a little bit of déjà vu,” the mayor said.

"We're opening the corridors of conversation to Stockwells to see what might happen.”

The mayor said in the planning scheme has "an idealised use” for the Civic site.

"There's a lot of land around the existing building footprint that is earmarked for further development and obviously Stockwells will be interested to see what's in the (new) planning scheme.”

He said the company had been briefing the council on what they might want to do with the Civic, but the discussions were at the "very early stages”.

"The good thing about Stockwells is that they don't just do shopping centres - they do all sorts of things.

"The problem we had with QIC was they really only looked at it as a potential shopping centre and nothing else, because that's their business model,” Cr Wellington said.

"Hopefully with Mark we can get some better outcomes that's not just more retail.”

The Noosa News has contacted Mr Stockwell's office for comment but he is yet to reply. The meeting was told the Masters hardware land site at the Civic had been sold, with the Spotlight chain the buyer, and the council is waiting to find out what development application's going to come along.