- Published on Wednesday, 23 May 2012 16:09
Article Read: 950
It would be easy to think you are in Italy or France when you visit Emerald Lakes in Carrara, Queensland, as this unique community not only looks like a European village on the waterfront but also features names like the French Quarter and Porto Bellago.
Inspired by Portofino on the west coast of Italy, the stunning multi-coloured stucco Emerald Village Apartments are the spitting image of Portofino and many other Italian villages along the Amalfi Coast. It also bears a resemblance to Florence, Venice and the Cinque Terra, as the architecture and design of the apartments is so similar to that of the Italian villages built by the water, both coastal and riverfront.
With a European village atmosphere, it also looks and feels like the trendy French Quarter in Paris with its artists and village markets. Each Thursday the street is closed off for the local Farmer's Market featuring fresh fruit and vegetables, cakes, fresh meat, fish, takeaway meals and a range of lovely stalls.
Resident managers of the Emerald Village Apartments, Col and Laraine Fields, say the Italian and French village atmosphere is one of the big drawcards of this beautiful community. "The lake also adds to the European feel and is enjoyed by everyone from the remote sailboat club and the dragon boat club through to kayakers, canoeists, morning rowing teams and fisherman," Laraine says. "Joggers, walkers and dog lovers also enjoy using the walking paths around the lake."
Emerald Village features 185 apartments, ranging from one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments through to two sub-penthouses with media rooms. All apartments are air-conditioned with top quality fixtures and fittings, there are seven elevators across the complex for convenience and all apartments have access to the swimming pool, barbecue area and a resident's room with two wet bar areas.
The French Quarter consists of three buildings and Porto Bellago has three buildings built along the lake - all are part of a village atmosphere complete with added facilities on offer. The village has three popular restaurants including The Garlic Clove, Athena Greek restaurant and an Indian restaurant, there is a medical centre, pharmacy, liquor outlet, a convenience store and many professional businesses operate from here.
There is also on-site management and 24-hour security to look after those that live in the apartments.
"Many New Caledonians own apartments here and rent them out, we have South African and British owners and a lot of locals," Laraine says of their clientele. "We expect to attract more tenants once extensions are finished at Metricon Stadium, where many of the Commonwealth Games events will be held in 2018."
Emerald Village Apartments looks out over Metricon Stadium, as well as the Emerald Lakes Golf Course and tennis courts.
Laraine and Colin only started managing the property a little over a month ago but already they have fallen in love with the village. They previously managed three other properties on the Gold Coast but say this will be easier as they are not on call 24 hours a day like they were when managing holiday complexes.
"It's funny we didn't start out in this industry at all. I was a schoolteacher and Col was a farmer and we lived on and managed a sheep, cattle and wheat property for over 30 years in south-west Queensland," Laraine says. "But during a three year drought we sold up and bought a newsagency and then a range of other businesses before entering the management rights industry 14 years ago."
The first property they managed was Hillhaven at Burleigh before upsizing to Capricornia in the heart of Broadbeach. Col and Laraine took a break to go caravanning and then managed the Aria Apartments in Broadbeach for five years. "We then decided we wanted to take some time out and travel so we headed overseas to Italy and then did a cruise up the Danube and Rhine Rivers. When we got back to Australia we looked in earnest for a new business and that's when Garth Rippin found this one just coming on the market. We were really excited about Emerald Village Apartments from the moment Garth told us about it," Laraine says.
She says the resort feel of the village makes living and working here really enjoyable. "The people are so friendly and we love that everything is right here, including the restaurants, the convenience stores and the farmer's market. And our sons and their partners have moved here too so we have no reason to leave the village."
While Laraine and Col live in the French Quarter, their sons live close by and help on-site with maintenance, IT, taking care of the pool and some office work. They also employ contract cleaners, contract gardeners and a lady to help with on-site inspections and filing.
"I can't think of anywhere else I would rather live, than right here," Laraine says.
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