In early February a new era of Chevron Island will begin. The much-awaited Green Bridge will open, connecting the island with the Evandale precinct and the Home of the Arts (HOTA).
“The 3,000 people milling around the precinct will positively impact the island, with many strolling across the bridge to enjoy our cafes, restaurants and boutique stores,” believes Chevron Island Business and Residents Association (CIBRA) President, Geoff Smith. “There is a clear vision for the connection between the island and the cultural precinct.”
When the island was first turned from a cattle farm to a residential area in the 1950s, there was only one bridge on the eastern side. “Before then you had to get a small ferry across.”
And the ferry has returned, with the launch of the HOPO (hop-on-hop-off) ferry just before Christmas. “The ferry connects tourists and locals with Sea World, the Broadwater Parklands, Marina Mirage, HOTA and Appel Park in Surfers Paradise.”
With older houses slowly making way for new developments and new homes, Geoff has seen a change in the Chevron Island community. “It’s great to see lots of younger people in the twenties arriving on the island and making it home, it’s so eclectic. This will only increase as well-priced, boutique developments are built, like the newly launched elegant project from Marquee Development Partners, The Catalina.”
Located on the corner of Stanhill and Parnoo Drive, modern art-deco styled Catalina will be the new neighbour to Marquee’s sold out and nearly completed debut project, Stanhill.
With the opening of the Green Bridge, the island will become part of the Queens Walk, setting up a direct cultural link from the city’s largest arts quarter to Chevron, through to Surfers Paradise and onto Main Beach. The bridge, for cyclists and pedestrians, will span 130 metres across the Nerang River, connecting to the Thomas Drive retail and restaurant strip.
“With HOTA having shows and events most nights of the week, those who are lucky enough to live on Chevron Island will be able to take the five-minute walk across the bridge to watch a movie, comedy act or theatre performance. We’ll all be more active, social and connected,” Geoff says.
Over the next 10 to 15 years, there will be $380 million invested into HOTA, including an in-progress art gallery, an outdoor amphitheatre and more lush parklands. There is also an art hotel being planned and plenty of encouragement for creative industries, cafes and other facilities to come to the precinct. HOTA will come alive 24-hours a day with a world-class artistic and cultural program.
Geoff is seeing not just a change in who is living on the island, but retailers and their desire to be part of the community that encourages old values but with a new flavour. “There is so much to look forward to with lots of new residential and commercial developments underway or coming. New prestigious stores, a world-class gym and much more coming in the next few years! There are new restaurants opening offering cuisines from around the world. It’s becoming a hotspot for dining, and culture! But some retailers have been trading on the island for 20 years. Their quality and service keep people coming back.”
Chevron Island is very much a ‘locals’ destination, not a tourist hotspot. It also has the enviable position of being an ambling distance to the Gold Coast’s major attractions, the beaches and key business areas like the Bundall Corporate Centre.
“If you want island life with a village atmosphere, head over to Chevron. Wake up, walk out of your door, get a coffee, buy some groceries and say hello to your neighbours. Everything is right on your doorstep. I’d love for people to come over and check out the rejuvenation of the island. We’re redefining island living.”
Come and join the Green Bridge opening celebrations on Sunday 2nd February. There will be activities on both sides, including, of course, the chance to be one of the first to walk across the bridge and admire the Surfers Paradise skyline on the way. You can also visit The Catalina’s display suite at 258 Stanhill Drive, open from 10 am every day.