'We were taken advantage of': Family's home dream shattered
THE promise of a swanky new apartment, modern luxuries and a lifestyle on their doorstop was too good to pass up for the Kidd family.
Close to three years and $56,000 later, the Defence Force family's Ipswich property dream is in tatters and they have endured a long battle with Indevel, the development company behind the promised Ellenborough Towers.
Grand plans for the $40m Ellenborough Towers were revealed in November 2014 and expected to be finished by late last year.
To date, there has been no movement on the site.
Cindy Kidd said the family was due to finish a post in America midway through this year and had planned to move into their new two-bedroom home in Ellenborough Towers when they were posted to the Amberley RAAF Base.
They were promised a pool, restaurant, shopping complex and a new, state-of-the-art apartment to raise their three-year-old son but none of it has been delivered.
"We approached the developer after seeing the advertisement. It looked like it would be a fantastic place to live for a young small family," Ms Kidd said.
By July 2015, Cindy and husband Kevin had paid $56,000 in deposits but a year later, when it became clear their home would not be ready in time, they asked for their money back.
"We hoped to use the deposit towards our own home when we returned and it was quite clear the property was not going to be completed on time, or even by the sunset date. The developer agreed, and promised our deposit to be returned. They then strung us along with continuous excuses for the past almost two years," she said.
She said they were repeatedly assured ground breaking was going ahead.
"As it turned out, our posting was then extended to end of 2019, which was fortunate as we didn't get our deposit back and we wouldn't have been able to put it towards a home of our own. It was only last week that the deposit was finally officially agreed to be returned, Ms Kidd said.
She said the deposit was not put in an interest account, as promised.
"We are glad this is coming to an end," she said.
"I feel like we were completely taken advantage of, we had a newborn and were posting to another country when contracts were signed.
"I thought if they had any problems with investing the money they would request information from us, but that was certainly naïve.
"Our plan from here is to move on with our lives, as we have spent the last two years feeling very stressed about the whole situation.
"We will buy our own home when we return to Amberley, but off the plan apartments are no longer on our radar as we just don't have any confidence in the process after this experience."
A representative of the developer, Indevel, declined to answer questions.
Building site still deserted
IT has been close to four years since plans for the $40m Ellenborough Towers development in the Ipswich CBD were unveiled. Two residential towers, 108 apartments and retail space with cafes, a wine bar and fresh food markets were revealed in November 2014 and expected to be finished by late last year.
Construction of the apartment building, which was supposed to revolutionise the residential unit market in Ipswich, was planned to begin in mid 2015 with a completion deadline of 18 to 24 months.
To date, there is no movement on the site. Consultants Pegg Group in January lodged an application to extend the approval period after the original application was approved in January 2014.
It was submitted on January 9, only days before the approval was due to expire, and approved on January 24 until 2020.
In an email to investors, a representative of the developer, Indvel, wrote the proposed builder for the project entered into external administration and a suitable alternative builder had not yet been found.
Welcome to potential neighbours
THEIR business is cakes and coffee and Rafter and Rose owners are not bothered who moves in next door to their Ellenborough St business.
Owners Candy Gazdah and Elle Morar are blissfully impartial to weather the proposed $40m Ellenborough Towers development goes ahead.
Ms Gazdah said she knew about the development plans when they moved into the street three and a half years ago.
She said the cafe was in prime position for tradie lunches and coffees but any potential development moving in next door would not impact their operations.
"It didn't bother us then," she said. "It doesn't worry us at all actually.
"If it did go ahead that would be fantastic and so good for the city.
"It's not going to impact us at all."