Investment and lifestyle luring
By PETER CATON
ONE is a high-powered Sydney businessman seeking a weekend coastal get-away, another a savvy female investor who sees the Tweed as a place of the future.
They are among the new breed of Tweed Coast ratepayers and property-wise professionals from Sydney or Brisbane behind the development wave that is transforming the area.
The pristine beaches and nearby bushland at Salt couldn't be further away from the fast-paced Sydney lifestyle, but for businessman Garry Sladden that was exactly the area's appeal.
Mr Sladden plans to swap his suit for boardies when he leaves the nightmare of Sydney traffic behind for welcome weekend getaways at the $750 million resort township.
"It's an easy flight to Coolangatta and just 15 minutes to our doorstep and we're on one of the best beaches in Australia," said Mr Sladden.
"Why go through all the hassle of driving three hours on a packed freeway just to get to a destination that is overcrowded and doesn't offer much?"
The Sydney businessman was quick to jump in on the ground floor at Salt with his purchase of a beachfront block of land, believing it to be the last opportunity of its kind on Australia's east coast.
Proximity to the beach was a huge drawcard for Mr Slad- den, wife Loraine and their three children, aged 15, 13 and seven.
"We're all looking forward to spending some time in the water and love the fact that the beaches at Salt have such a private feel and aren't spoilt by overcrowding they're a world away from packed Sydney beaches," he said.
Investor Marie Engel has bought land for rental properties at Salt, units in the soonto-open Outrigger Resort and an ocean-front block for retirement.
"You've got the village atmosphere; you are only 10 minutes away from a major town and 20 minutes from a major airport but you still have this beautiful, untouched, unspoilt area with pristine beaches," she said.
"It's become a very soughtafter area and there are only so many homes that can be built there. I just see it as a good investment and it's always been my dream to retire to the beach.
"Noosa is so isolated, a long way from anywhere. Salt has just so much to offer."