The Gold Coast cannot be ignored.
Without exaggerating, billions are being spent on infrastructure and major developments.
There is some cautionary commentary in the media in regards to the level of apartment stock. The Gold Coast has welcomed 23 new apartment project launches during the past 12 months. Seven new projects have launched this quarter with another 22 set to launch over the next six months, bringing another 2,165 new apartments to the market. However residential suburbs in the growth corridor like Coomera and Pimpama all have rising markets and are receiving favourable commentary in the media as hot spots.
The Gold Coast currently has more suburbs with growing sales activity than any other Local Government Area in Australia and was recently named in the top 100 cities in the world for students to live in by the 2016 QS Best Student Cities.
In the lead up to the Commonwealth Games, the Gold Coast CBD is undergoing a transformation with $5 billion worth of public or private investment planned, under way or recently completed.
One of the key projects includes the development of the light rail network. The first section of the system, running from Griffith University Parkwood to Broadbeach, opened in 2014. Tenders for the second stage, Parkwood to Helensvale, closed in December 2015 with the Federal Government pledging $95 million and the Gold Coast City Council $55 million. Meanwhile, discussions are being held about a third section of light rail to connect Broadbeach to the Gold Coast Airport, Coolangatta and an approach has been made to the Federal Government for a contribution of $480 million.
Another project is the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, a world class swimming facility located in Southport’s Broadwater Parklands. Costing $42 million and opening in 2014, it will be the swimming and diving facility for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Also, three of the four major shopping centres (Pacific Fair, Australia Fair and Harbour Town), as well as Jupiters Casino, are spending serious money on upgrading their facilities.
In 2014 we had 4.3 million overnight visitors on the coast. These were predominantly from Chinese visitors and our friends across the ‘ditch’. It is forecast that over 8 million visitors will spend in excess of $113 billion dollars in 2017 and 11 million visitors will spend approximately $145 billion dollars in 2025. To accommodate this projection there is major spending on infrastructure including a $345 million dollar casino redevelopment, talk of a $2 billion dollar resort and casino and a $670 million Pacific Fair development. In addition a $1 billion dollar Iluka redevelopment, a $200 million airport expansion, a $2 billion Ruby development, a $1 billion Jewel development, a proposed $1.2 billion dollar cruise ship terminal and the $750 million Coomera Town Centre.
Around 690,000 visitors are expected to arrive on the Gold Coast in April 2018 for the Commonwealth Games, according to council documents, with around 1.5 million people attending ticketed events.
Regardless of the economic activity that the Commonwealth Games will generate, strong population growth will independently spur on development. Coomera is recognised in the South East Queensland Regional Plan as a regional development area for residential and employment growth. The area is expected to provide 25,000 new dwellings to house 50,000 residents.
Jason & Sandra