A large development site near Surfers Paradise, known as the “cow site” because of the 100 Charolais cattle grazing on it, has been put up for sale by Gold Coast property spruiker John L Fitzgerald and builder Gary Deane.
The site, at 421 Gooding Drive at Clear Island Waters, is the only asset of the Orient Central Development Corporation and has preliminary approval for more than 1500 dwellings.
Trading as the Cypress Gardens Development Corporation, it raised $15.2 million in 2014 from investors through an issue of preference shares at $1 each before an aborted IPO.
Preferential shareholders were promised 10 to 25 per cent of any profits generated from the project, at the time a 970-unit retirement village, with the majority of profits going to Orient Central directors (and ordinary shareholders), Mr Fitzgerald, his nephew James Fitzgerald, Mr Deane and Rodney Douglas.
Orient Central’s most recent financial report for the year to June 30 shows the company incurred a loss of $142,000 and had just $18,543 of cash on hand.
The financial statements note that the company’s continued viability and ability to continue as a going concern are dependent on the continuing support of its directors and “the potential realisation of assets at amounts higher than the carrying amounts disclosed in the financial statements”.
As of June 30, the Clear Island Waters site had a book value of $18 million, up from $12.6 million in 2017.
Orient Central is seeking either to sell the site outright or negotiate a preferred development agreement. Moelis Australia and Savills estate agent James Stevenson have been appointed as the selling agents.
The financial statements show the company swung from having net assets of $11.5 million to net liabilities of $3.84 million after preference shares were reclassified from equity to debt. Its ongoing activities and expenses are being funded by the directors.