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Prime property with century-old church the centre of attention

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Developers are showing plenty of interest in a premium site that includes a renowned old church.

Several prospective buyers have inquired about 22-26 Beach Road at Maroochydore, which is located on the apex of a well-known Y-junction.

The 1551sqm site includes the remarkable former Methodist church, a building/hall behind it and a dozen or so car parks.

The site has development approval, with an adjoining 600sqm property, for 42 residential units, two ground-level commercial tenancies and 78 car parks (61 in the basement). The DA can be revised to exclude the neighbouring property.

The site is within walking distance of the Ocean Street dining precinct, Sunshine Plaza, the emerging city centre, the Maroochy River and Maroochydore Beach.

Big Box Real Estate director and principal Seba Sabawi said the property was for sale and attracting plenty of attention.

The old church on the corner of Beach and Duporth roads.

“There’s been so much interest in that particular property,” she said.

“The main interest we’ve had is from developers who want to add value to the area.”

Big Box stated that the proposed mixed-use development could be up to nine storeys.

“We’ve had a lot of interest from developers who want to build apartment blocks but also maintain that church building as well,” Ms Sabawi said.

There is approval to develop on this site at Maroochydore.

“The plans are to keep the church as it is and then build where the car park (and hall) is.”

There are some businesses operating on the site now, including a private midwifery practice and a coffee shop.

Ms Sabawi said there was some potential that the tenants could be accommodated within a new building.

“The bottom two floors could be commercial, so the tenants will probably have the opportunity to remain in the building.”

A render of what a development could look like at the old church site.

Ms Sabawi was adamant that “the church is staying”.

“It’s not going anywhere,” she said.

Ms Sabawi said the old church appealed to prospective buyers who wanted to utilise it as a feature. She suggested a development could be called ‘Church on Duporth’.

“We’ve had one large developer, who has done a lot of work on the Sunshine Coast, that is looking at the site specifically because of that church,” she said.

The site is in a great location near the river and dining precincts.

“They want to put a restaurant there and keep the church as an attraction.

“It is very appealing to have there.”

The church is well known to locals who drive along busy Duporth and Beach roads.

The land was owned by noted businessman George Pitman before it was acquired by the Methodist congregation in the early 1920s.

The Maroochydore Methodist Church in 1925. Picture: Picture Sunshine Coast

The timber church was built and opened in 1924, and it became a focal point for services.

Two wings and a front porch were added in 1951 and a hall was constructed in 1956.

The congregation became part of the Uniting Church in the 1970s and the church and hall were sold in 1985, with the congregation moving to a new church building in Millwell Road, Maroochydore.

The old church has since been used by various businesses but it has been largely preserved as an ode to its history.

The Maroochydore Methodist Church in 1958. Picture: Picture Sunshine Coast

Ms Sabawi said the location was a key driver for developers.

“It doesn’t get much better than that, right on Duporth Avenue, with two-street frontage, in a triangular shape, with views of the beach,” she said.

The new Mosaic Avalon development is just across the road.

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb.

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