Construction of the first buildings in the Sunshine Coast’s new central business district will start early next year, but there is already a wave of interest from companies keen to be a part of the unique development.
The 53-hectare greenfield site lies in the heart of Maroochydore, on the Sunshine Coast, which is a region that is entering a period of growth and economic expansion.
The Maroochydore CBD project is just one kilometre from the coast’s world-class beaches and 10 kilometres from the Sunshine Coast Airport, which will offer direct flights to destinations in Asia and the Pacific when a new runway opens in 2020.
SunCentral Maroochydore Pty Ltd was established by the landowner, Sunshine Coast Regional Council, in 2015 to oversee design and delivery of the city centre development.
SunCentral chief executive John Knaggs said approvals were in place for 150,000 square metres of commercial gross floor area, 65,000 square metres of retail gross floor area and 2000 residential apartments, with the project’s core commercial precinct currently in the market.
“There are productive negotiations under way for 90 per cent of the lots in that precinct and we expect to take other stages of the project to market later this year,” Mr Knaggs said.
“The market is calling for scale and that’s what the new Maroochydore City Centre offers as a major urban regeneration project.”
Plans are in the pipeline for light rail to link the new CBD with the key coastal centres of Maroochydore and Caloundra, and for the federal government to provide funding to develop a business case for a fast rail service between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.
A proposed international submarine broadband cable connecting directly to the Maroochydore City Centre site offers further potential to transform the region’s economy.
Mr Knaggs said more than $10 million in infrastructure had already been installed below the streets of the core commercial precinct to ensure the new CBD was one of the most advanced in the country.
“There will be digital solutions for the management of street lighting, car parking, water and power and signage, and all public infrastructure power usage will be offset by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council’s 15MW solar farm,” he said.
“We have also installed a system that will allow waste to be transported underground from residential and commercial buildings and parks and public spaces at 70km/h to a central collection area, creating Australia’s first CBD without wheelie bins.”
The new CBD will include commercial and mixed-use buildings, residential apartments, retail outlets, a premium hotel, and convention and exhibition facilities, with 40 per cent of the site dedicated to parks, plazas and waterways.
Mr Knaggs said the total construction cost of the 20-year project was estimated at $2.1 billion in 2015.
“The new CBD is expected to create more than 15,000 permanent jobs and inject more than $4.4 billion into the local economy” he said.
It will be a wonderful asset for the region and a desirable location in which to work, live, shop and dine, and to visit, he said.
“The future is certainly bright for Maroochydore as the capital city of the Sunshine Coast.”