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Big Pineapple sale falters

The Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast.
The Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast. Chris McCormack

A BID to buy the Big Pineapple and turn it into a motor racing museum has stalled and the landmark is on the market again.

It was reported late last year that the Bowden family of Buderim had purchased the Woombye property and planned to transform it into a mecca for motor racing enthusiasts.

But the Daily has learned that settlement of the contract has not occurred.

It is understood the property's receiver PPB is hunting for a new buyer, although both PPB and the Bowden family are hopeful a deal will be struck.

“The contract was not capable of settlement, but discussions continue and we are hopeful of a resolution,” a PPB spokesman said yesterday.

Guy Gibbons, of Kawana-based Bennett Carroll Solicitors and the Bowden family's lawyer on the deal, said he was confident the sale would go through once a few things were “squared away”.

Mr Gibbons said there were “no showstoppers” blocking the deal, but PPB was free to look for another buyer if it wanted to.

“It's a big messy complex and we've just got to make sure we have everything agreed and nailed down and worked out,” he said.

“I suppose the receiver's got its obligations and the receiver will discharge those obligations.

“But as far as we're concerned, we're working our way to a resolution.”

Mr Gibbons said it was hoped settlement would have occurred by Christmas, and given the delay he was reluctant to speculate on when that might happen.

A source close to the deal said the Bowden family, which owns the car care business Bowden's Own, was part of a consortium looking to purchase the site.

He said the consortium was “missing the main ingredient” – money.

He likened talk of the sale proceeding to “believing in Santa Claus”.

In February, Dan Bowden admitted that the process was proving more difficult than he had anticipated, but that was interpreted to mean the redevelopment of the site was causing him grief.

Despite that, Mr Bowden said he was confident works would begin in the near future and the public would have its “socks blown off” by “some really cool stuff” once the project was finished.

The Bowden family boasts that it has the country's most celebrated collection of Australian racing cars.

It plans to house the collection at the Big Pineapple through a $10 million redevelopment of the site.

Meanwhile, a massive online auction of Big Pineapple items was launched yesterday.

Placed on GreysOnline, the items include generators, chairs, tables, shop fittings and cutlery.

It is understood a Cobb and Co carriage that can carry 12 people is also up for grabs.


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