Top tier investment and development firms are being targeted to partner the next stages of one of Queensland’s largest urban regeneration projects.
SunCentral Maroochydore, the company charged with designing and delivering the new CBD at Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, has launched an Invitation for Expressions of Interest (EOI) campaign for more than 15 hectares of pre-approved developable land in the master planned city centre.
With civil works completed in the core commercial precinct of the site (Stage 1A) and construction of the CBD’s first buildings expected to start mid-year, SunCentral Maroochydore Chief Executive Officer John Knaggs said the EOI process for the extensive next stages of the project called for experienced urban development and capital funding partners to help develop key precincts.
Mr Knaggs said the EOI campaign offered 67,500 m2 of commercial space and 25,900 m2 of retail floorspace along with 1,390 residential apartments across a number of precincts in the new city centre.
“Some of this development opportunity is located in the core commercial precinct while the majority is in the area south of the Corso waterway, adjacent the future rail station and transit plaza and in mixed-use apartment precincts alongside planned waterways and parkland,” he said.
“This is a unique opportunity for experienced developers and institutional capital groups to enter into a long-term partnership with SunCentral Maroochydore and set a new benchmark for city centre design and development in one of the fastest growing regions in the country.”
Mr Knaggs said the first stage of the project, which included an earlier EOI for Lots within the core commercial precinct, had attracted a range of local, national and international interests, and a number of submissions were being negotiated to commercial close over the next year. For the next stages, larger scale precincts are on offer.
“Offering individual parcels has worked well for the first stage of the commercial precinct. However, in response to market feedback these next stages, involving both commercial and mixed-use areas, offer larger precinct-wide approaches.
“We are able to provide a wider platform for capital groups and developers to operate longer term – and I’m sure this approach will help facilitate the development of key parts of the city centre.”
“We are looking for the best city-makers to partner with us on this landmark project and look forward to bringing innovative development outcomes and high-quality urban design to life on the Sunshine Coast.”
Mr Knaggs said the Sunshine Coast had attracted billions of dollars in public and private investment in recent years, making the regional economy one of the strongest in the state.
“Some of this investment includes the new international sub-sea broadband cable that will deliver unprecedented global data connectivity in 2020, the Sunshine Coast International Airport expansion that will double passenger capacity into Maroochydore and plans for the new passenger rail / light rail network – all of which will transform connectivity for business and community,” he said.
Apart from the new international broadband cable that will connect to a landing station located alongside the new CBD, more than $10 million in underground telecommunications and services capacity has been installed beneath the city centre’s new streets.
This provides a smart city framework for the new CBD, including digital signage, lighting and other ‘smart’ technologies. It also delivers the country’s first CBD-wide underground automated waste collection system which will transport waste from businesses and apartments through a series of underground pipes to a central collection station.
With the Sunshine Coast tipped to be home to 500,000 people by 2036, the site of the new Maroochydore CBD has been declared a Priority Development Area (PDA) by the State Government.
This status allows for streamlined planning, approval and development processes.
Mr Knaggs said independent assessors estimated the new CBD would create more than 15,000 permanent jobs on the Sunshine Coast and the construction component of the Maroochydore City Centre was likely to generate $5.9 billion in output and $2.3 billion in value add to the Queensland economy over the project’s 15 to 20-year life.
Construction on the city centre’s first buildings is expected to start this year, including an eight-storey commercial property by local developer Evans Long and a two-tower 152-unit residential complex by Brisbane’s Habitat Development Group.
This is in addition to a nine-storey Sunshine Coast Regional Council headquarters building.
“The roads, footpaths, kerbing, landscaping and smart-city infrastructure has already been completed for the first stage of the project, including a large public park and other important public realm,” Mr Knaggs said.
“We are excited about the opportunity to work with prospective new partners to develop the bulk of this landmark project.”