Opportunity Knocks – Gold Coast

Opportunity Knocks – Gold Coast

lightrail

Market-savvy developers and cashed-up investors are spending hundreds of millions of dollars snapping up properties along the city’s light rail route.

In the past four years, dozens of commercial properties and vacant blocks have been bought along the rapid transit line from Southport to Broadbeach.

Six have approval for major projects, including two 44-storey highrises at Southport, a three-tower project at Surfers Paradise, a 52-storey highrise at Broadbeach and another 20-storey tower at Broadbeach.

City planning boss Ted Shepherd said the smart developers could see the potential of the light rail system to boost values.

“The smart ones, who recognise the benefits of light rail, are getting in early,” he said.

“City leaders from France told the council ‘build light rail and the business will come’ – they were spot on.

“The light rail corridor will become a hive of activity with units, shops, offices, schools and medical facilities alongside it.”

Cr Shepherd said he wanted the council to encourage more people to live and work along the route,

“We should be pushing for development and allowing higher density in the areas close to the line – it is where everyone will want to live,” he said.

Urban Development Institute of Australia Gold Coast boss Steve Harrison said developers were drawn to areas around the light rail because town planning would be more flexible.

“Along the route many high-rises will be able to build higher and have fewer car parks than usually required,” he said.

“The light rail on the doorstep means there is less need for people to have cars and more need for high density.”

Town Planner David Ransom said developers were stockpiling land and waiting for the market to improve.

His client, investor David Fang, has secured two sites along the route at Southport.

“The market is very difficult at the moment but developers are holding hopes that the rapid transit will bring about the demand for more highrise developments,” he said.

“Our client is confident with his investments and the light rail construction has certainly played a role in his site selection.”

CB Richard Ellis Gold Coast marketing boss Chris Liftin said his client, Amalgamated Property Group, had singled out Broadbeach years ago as the place to build.

The company’s next project, Broadbeach Central, will be close to a light rail station.

Mr Liftin said work would begin this year, with settlement to coincide with the completion of the light rail.

“It will be one of the first major developments out of the ground along the route,” he said.

“Broadbeach used to be more an area for investment properties and tourists but now locals actually want to live there.”

Stage one from Griffith University to Broadbeach, is scheduled to be finished late next year.

Source:
Jessica Elder
Gold Coast Bulletin
7 February 2012
General News
Page 2