REVEALED: Massive project to come for iconic whale building
THE iconic "whale building" in the Bundaberg CBD has changed hands for the first time in nearly 30 years.
The building has been in the ownership of John Santalucia since 1990.
Mr Santalucia said the investment in such an iconic Bundaberg building had served him well, but he was now pleased the building had been purchased by a local family.
The whale mural has been in place since September 1990, but due to age and weathering it has faded and is in need of refreshment.
The new owners, the family behind SSS Strawberries, yesterday said the region would know more next week about their exciting plans.
While the price of the sale, which settled yesterday, has not been released, the NewsMail understands it to be in the multi-millions of dollars.
"There's been a lot of work in the last few months behind the scenes with engineers, town planners, architects, councillors and other business partners that we've been dealing with and they're all very excited," said SSS Strawberries' chief financial officer Toan Nguyen.
Mr Nguyen was excited for works to go ahead, believing it to be the biggest project in the CBD in the last 50 years.
Mr Nguyen said it was an unfortunate fact that many young people leave Bundaberg as soon as they have finished school.
"We've been here 13 years now, we like Bundaberg, our kids go to school here and we want them to stay in Bundaberg," he said.
\"Instead of waiting for Bundaberg to change, why don't we make a change?"
Mr Nguyen said the company had been wondering for several months about their intentions for the building once they secured ownership.
"Now, at the moment it's an office, we can leave it as an office, do it up nice and get other offices to move into this building, but then you're just relocating people," he said.
Mr Nguyen said once the renovations were complete it would be the biggest project the company had embarked upon, resulting in a win-win for the community and businesses alike.
"We want to attract a new market and I think that's the better approach. It'll be better for Bundy, better for the community, better for retail in the CBD," he said.