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  • Gavin King

    Tropic Now editor

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    Confidence in future of Cairns on display with another CBD tower proposal

    Hot on the heels of a string of projects from Nova City to the planned expansion of Cairns Square, a new 20-storey project has been proposed for the CBD.

    A 20-storey CBD tower project first announced in 2014 has been redesigned and relaunched in a bid to capitalise on growing confidence and investment in the Cairns economy.

    The original Cairns Citi Tower project was billed as a $30 million game-changer that would introduce a new "live and work" concept to the city, with the building described as a hybrid between an office and a hotel where self-contained living environments are part apartment, part working space.

    Despite promises that construction of the project would begin in mid-2015, the project never got off the ground.

    The proponents have just lodged a new development application with Cairns Regional Council in another attempt to kickstart the project.

    So far the reworked proposal only consists of an artist's impression, a fly-though video and a development application.

    But the developer clearly sees a new opportunity in the growing confidence permeating the Cairns economy in recent times.

    Cairns Citi Tower is a proposal by a consortium called Noipo Investments, a Cairns-based company registered in 2013 with links to Papua New Guinea businessman and former political candidate Raphael Noipo.

    In the development application, the proposal includes a 62m tower with office space on the first three floors, a range of residential apartments and short stay accommodation suites.

    The development application was prepared by town planning firm Cardno and the project is being marketed by local real estate agent Robert Smith from Australian First Realty.

    Key features of council's tropical urbanism guidelines such as vertical gardens have been incorporated into the design.

    "Expected to appeal to the needs of fly-in/fly-out professionals, particularly those associated with the Cairns courts, and companies requiring satellite offices, the studio office tenancies and accompanying caretaker’s accommodation dwellings encourage greater economic diversity within Cairns, providing the opportunity for a range of companies to set up a base locally from which to expand on,” the development application reads.

    The proposal comes on the back of yesterday's approval of a two-storey extension of the Cairns Square building on the corner of Abbott and Shields St, as well as the recent launch of the Nova City development and GA Group's twin tower proposal for its massive vacant block on the corner of Abbott and Florence Sts.