What post-Commonwealth Games slump? Gold Coast to get $30 billion of development

By Jared Hodge

A $30 billion pipeline of private and public development will be rolled out on the Gold Coast over the next decade, putting paid to criticisms it would suffer a post-Commonwealth Games slowdown.

Nearly $20 billion in housing and apartment projects will meet the city’s ongoing growth, while a further $10 billion in public and private infrastructure is either underway or planned for the city post Commonwealth Games.

It’s a massive coup for the glitter strip, where an atmosphere of positivity and prosperity has pervaded since the Games were announced.

Amid the confidence was concrete evidence of the Gold Coast’s economic success in the lead-up to the Games; millions of dollars worth of new infrastructure like the extension to the light rail, the upgrade of Star Casino and Pacific Fair shopping centre.

In turn, the Gold Coast property market outperformed every other region in Queensland last year, growing by nearly 8 per cent.

“People are thinking differently about the Gold Coast. We are now incredibly relevant.”

And it would seem this success is set to continue. A residential development data revealed almost $15 billion in projects ranging from apartments to house and land developments.

The figures include the $1 billion Jewel towers in Surfers Paradise, the $1 billion Pacific View Estate in the hinterland and Mirvac’s $1.3 billion Gainsborough Greens in the city’s rapidly growing northern corridor.

On the infrastructure front, Urbis’ just released Gold Coast Infrastructure Report reveals more than 250 projects are being rolled out or are planned across multiple sectors, most prominently transportation, tourism, retail, health and services.

They include the $615 million third stage of the Gold Coast Light Rail, $500 million Westfield Coomera Town Centre, the $385 million Gold Coast Cultural Precinct, and the second stage of the Gold Coast Airport’s $300 million masterplan.

This level of commitment is staggering given some context —A head of research at Propertyology said it completely dwarfed any investment made in Brisbane in recent years.

“Looking at infrastructure, Legacy Way and the Moreton Bay Rail Extension, both completed last year, cost about $1.2 billion each,” he said.

“The next project, recently started, is Queens Wharf, costing about $3 billion. The Gold Coast is getting some serious investment when you consider its population is less than half of Brisbane’s.

“The project pipeline of $30 billion is one of Australia’s biggest and certainly is great for future jobs.”

A chief executive of a real estate firm said there was so much more to come for the Gold Coast beyond the Commonwealth Games.

“The staging of the Games heralds the beginning of the next chapter of the Gold Coast’s evolution from a tourist town into a vibrant city with an expanding multi-dimensional economy,” he said.

“A city of three to four million people would be thrilled to have this level of investment taking place. The amount of money being spent here for a population of only 680,000 is incredibly significant.

“To see a hospitality and gaming giant like Star committing to a decade-long rollout of a $3 billion masterplan on the Coast really highlights the confidence and belief in this city’s future.

“People are thinking differently about the Gold Coast. We are now incredibly relevant.”

Urbis director of property economics and research Paul Riga said these projects underpinned a massive shift in the demographic of the Gold Coast, which would ultimately shape its metamorphosis into a city.

“It’s hit that point now where it’s got that next level of diversification and population mass that allows it to be a city,” he said.

“These are true city-shaping projects. Where it gets exciting is the impact it has on the employment requirement; the diversification of the projects means the Gold Coast gets a diversification of its workforce.”

As the Gold Coast expanded and grew, it was likely the boundaries between it and Brisbane would blur, Mr Riga said.

“I think over time as the Gold Coast grows as a city very much in its own right, we’ll see the geographical differences between the two become less noticeable,” he said.


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