URBNSURF announces investment backing for Australia’s first surf park
Surf park developer URBNSURF has announced that construction is to commence on its planned Melbourne attraction, anticipating that Australia’s first surf park will open at a site adjacent to Essendon Airport in 2019.
With planning consent already obtained and construction scheduled to commence next month, the company has revealed that it has secured $28.3 million in funding to develop URBNSURF Melbourne, the world’s first full-sized Wavegarden® ‘Cove’ surfing lagoon.
Located adjacent to the Essendon Football Club on Airport Drive, URBNSURF Melbourne has been designed to be an innovative surf sport, recreation and entertainment facility centreed around a world-class surfing lagoon. At 2.1 hectares in area, the lagoon will be similar in size to the MCG and will host up to 84 surfers per hour across six different surfing zones.
The innovative facility will deliver authentic, safe and convenient surfing experiences for all skill levels, year-round. With a modular, minimalist design, URBNSURF Melbourne will also feature a multi-outlet food and bar precinct, concept retail store, fully-equipped surf and hire shop, night surfing, a surfing academy, high performance coaching and training options, fitness classes, festivals and events, a beach club, and relaxing, landscaped open spaces.
URBNSURF founder and Executive Chairman, Andrew Ross explained “we are delighted to be bringing the southern hemisphere’s first surf park facility to Melbourne.
“Melbourne’s 200,000 or so existing surfers, plus all of those who want to give surfing a go, will now be able to enjoy high quality surf, year-round, and all within a 25-minute drive of the Melbourne CBD.
“URBNSURF Melbourne unlocks the geographic limitations of surfing by bringing the beach to your backyard. We are aiming to provide surfers of all abilities the opportunity to engage in their sport more frequently, conveniently, and safely – allowing them to simply ‘surf more’”.
The $28.3 million in development capital was recently secured by URBNSURF will fuel the company’s construction activities in Melbourne together with activities associated with its other two surf park projects in Sydney and Perth.
URBNSURF is working with Melbourne Airport in delivering Australia’s first surf park, a significant piece of sporting infrastructure set to contribute positively to the airport’s new ‘Elite Park’ precinct for decades to come.
Commenting on the development, Melbourne Airport’s Chief of Property Linc Horton explained “we’ve earmarked this precinct as an area where we can focus on building a real experience centre - somewhere that not only develops the airport estate, but does so in a way that opens up new leisure experiences for the communities around the airport as well.
“Opening up this area of the airport for experiences like URBNSURF Melbourne will bring a whole new industry to the area, resulting in hundreds of additional jobs being established at the airport and a new world of opportunity for young people from the suburbs surrounding it.”
URBNSURF Melbourne will be the first commercial surf park in the world to feature the latest Wavegarden® “Cove” wave generating technology, which is the product of over 12 years of research and development by a team of 50 European-based engineers.
Josema Odriozola, Wavegarden’s founder and Chief Executive stated “we are excited to be working with URBNSURF to bring the world’s first public Wavegarden® Cove to Victoria, and to create Melbourne’s first surf break.
“Australia has a large population of active surfers, plus many people that would like to learn to surf. We’re confident that our technology will deliver high-quality waves and surfing experiences for guests of all abilities. We look forward to collaborating on URBNSURF’s other planned developments in Sydney and Perth.”
In addition to the incredible surfing experiences on offer in the facility’s 2.1-hectare surf lagoon, URBNSURF Melbourne will regularly host a variety of cultural, food and music festivals, action sports events, ‘expression sessions’ with elite athletes, and amateur and professional surfing competitions.
With surfing now confirmed as an Olympic sport for the 2020 Tokyo Games, URBNSURF Melbourne is uniquely positioned to assist the Australian surfing team to train and prepare for their campaign.
The development of URBNSURF Melbourne is expected to generate over 300 jobs during the construction phase, and another 50 full time positions will be created once the facility opens its doors.
Images: Artist's impression of the planned URBNSURF Melbourne (top) and URBNSURF's multi-outlet food and bar precinct concept (top).
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