Porsche lovers buy Big Pineapple
A TRIO of Brisbane millionaires has paid $5.8 million for the Big Pineapple at Woombye.
The Big Pineapple Corp will return the shine to the neglected tourist attraction, the company planning to create a "produce driven market hub and business centre", but it declined to go into detail.
The company's main players are Roger Lago, Brad Rankin and Franco DiBArtolomeo.
Mr Lago runs a massive cold storage empire, Lago Cold Storage.
Mr Rankin and Mr DiBartolomeo lead MDev Property Group, a development firm with projects in Peregian, the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
Mr Lago and Mr Rankin also compete in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge - a race series for sports car owners. This year, Mr Lago is leading the Cup field.
Project partner Damon Falcongreen said the businessmen were dedicated to bringing the Pineapple back to life.
"It will continue as a tourist attraction in some shape or form," Mr Falcongreen said.
"We're looking for input from the wider community to know what people would like to see there."
Negotiations for the sale have taken about three months.
The price includes the 165ha of land on both sides of the Bruce Highway plus the Pineapple and its surrounding orchards, and buildings covering 10,000sq m.
Mr Falcongreen said the heritage-listed nature of the site was a benefit.
"We haven't acquired it with an intention of creating Dreamworld there," he said.
"There's a lot of really exciting ideas that we have but we're not in a position to release them to you yet."
The Big Pineapple once attracted more people than any of the Gold Coast's theme parks.
PINING FOR A NEW OWNER
1971: Bill and Lyn Taylor buy a pineapple farm and open it as tourist attraction
1994: Graham Hayes buys the attraction
March, 2009: Big Pineapple and surrounding buildings are heritage-listed
August, 2009: Big Pineapple put on the market
August, 2011: Big Pineapple Corp - a trio of Brisbane businessmen - buy the site for $5.8 million