URBNSURF Melbourne to be Australia's first surf park, open by Easter 2019
URBNSURF (www.urbnsurf.co), the company behind Australia’s first surf parks, today announced it has recently secured $28.3 million in funding to develop URBNSURF Melbourne at Melbourne Airport, the world’s first full-sized Wavegarden® “Cove” surfing lagoon.
With planning consent already obtained and construction scheduled to commence in March 2018, the company expects URBNSURF Melbourne to be pumping out up to 1,000 perfect, 2m high ocean-like surfing waves every hour by Easter 2019.
Located adjacent to the Essendon Football Club on Airport Drive, and just 16 kilometers north of Melbourne’s CBD, URBNSURF Melbourne has been designed to be an innovative surf sports, leisure and entertainment facility centered 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.
This next-generation, state-of-the-art 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’s Founder and Executive Chairman, Andrew Ross said “we are delighted to be bringing the southern hemisphere’s first surf park facility to Melbourne, the traditional home of Australian sport. 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.”
He added, “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’”.
$28.3 million in development capital was recently secured by URBNSURF from a range of Australian-based, well-known high net worth investors and private-equity sources. These funds will fuel the company’s construction activities in Melbourne together with activities associated with its other two surf park projects in Sydney and Perth.
The company is delighted to be 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.
Melbourne Airport’s Chief of Property Linc Horton said “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 R&D by a team of 50 engineers based in Europe.
“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” said Josema Odriozola, Wavegarden’s Founder and CEO. “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.
Surfing Victoria’s CEO, Adam Robertson, said “Surfing Victoria is stoked to see the continued progression of wave pools throughout the world and in particular the URBNSURF development in Melbourne. The ability to provide a facility that improves participation through learn to surf programs, but at the same time has the capability to produce high performance waves for the training and development of elite surfers, is incredible. This will be a fantastic boost for our development pathways, surfing programs, educational courses and events.”
Victoria’s Minister for Tourism, Major Events and Sport, the Hon. John Eren MP, also commented on the announcement, stating “URBNSURF Melbourne will be high on the list of surfers, sports lovers and thrill-seekers from Victoria and around the world. As the sporting capital, we’re delighted to add Australia’s first surf park to our arsenal. This park will bring even more visitors to the region – and that means more jobs and a stronger economy.”
Peter Bingeman, CEO of Visit Victoria, said “Visit Victoria is proud to encourage and facilitate investment in key tourism infrastructure, like URBNSURF Melbourne, to better meet the needs of all travelers and ensure Victoria remains at the top of the list for tourists from all over the world.”
Laura Cavallo, Destination Melbourne’s CEO, added “Being so close to the airport, this development will further cement the area as a gateway into Melbourne and the surrounding suburbs, spreading visitation and spend beyond the CBD. URBNSURF Melbourne will provide immensely great value to the local community and to Melbourne overall.”
Life Saving Victoria (LSV)’s General Manager (Government and Industry Relations), Paul Shannon, said "LSV applauds the development of an iconic aquatic centre that will contribute to addressing the safety of Victorians in, on and around water. LSV looks forward to exploring the mutually-beneficial opportunities for collaboration arising from the development of URBNSURF Melbourne."
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. Accessible by 2 million Melbourne residents in under 30 minutes, URBNSURF Melbourne is expected to inject more than $267 million in gross economic contribution to the Melbourne region over the life of the project.
State Member for Sunbury, the Hon. Josh Bull MP, said “this announcement is fantastic for Tullamarine and the people of the Northern Suburbs. I am incredibly excited to see the surf park built, creating an estimated 300 jobs during construction and 50 ongoing jobs. This will be a world-class facility, attracting visitors not just from all over Victoria, but all over Australia.”
Hume City Council’s Mayor, Geoff Porter, similarly stated “at Hume City Council, we’re all about local jobs for local people. I am delighted this project will create a number of jobs in the City of Hume both during the construction phase, and ongoing once Australia’s first surf park opens in 2019.”The company is currently developing surf park facilities at Sydney Olympic Park (“URBNSURF Sydney”), and in Perth at Tompkins Park, Alfred Cove (“URBNSURF Perth”), and aims to develop up to ten world-class surf parks in Australia by 2028.