INFRASTRUCTURE development in Coolangatta and surrounding suburbs is not keeping up with population growth, despite the $4.6 billion pipeline being close to the record $5.155 billion set in 2008.

Stewart Gilchrist, Colliers International Gold Coast director in charge, says major southern Gold Coast infrastructure projects to be brought forward for completion before the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

“More infrastructure is needed to provide for an increased population on the southern Gold Coast, and while there are a few projects underway, it could be years before they are completed – in fact, for some there are no dates set in stone,” says Gilchrist.

“The $420 million M1 upgrade from Nerang to Tugun is underway, as is the $10 million Palm Beach-Currumbin Hospital extension, but the former at least will take some time to be completed.

“Other infrastructure projects such as the planned $950 million Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 2 and the $1.2 billion proposed rail link from Robina to Coolangatta have no defined deadlines.”

If the completion of these projects was sped up to come online in time for the Commonwealth Games, Gilchrist says it would be of untold benefit to the Gold Coast.

“In particular stage 2 of the light rail project would have a huge impact,” he says.

“Once that stage is completed the light rail will run from the airport at Coolangatta, which would enable athletes and visitors to get off a plane and connect all the way to the Games Village at Parklands, stopping off at the tourist hubs of Broadbeach and Surfers Paradise along the way.”

The $4.6 billion worth of projects in the pipline for the southern Gold Coast, between Coolangatta and Currumbin, is a reduction of just $145 million – or just three per cent - from the previous year.

Four new projects were added last year, the largest of which is the $220 million redevelopment of the Kirra Beach Hotel and the $60 million redevelopment of Showcase on the Beach shopping centre.

Two other smaller projects were a $12 million apartment development at Musgrave Street in Kirra and a $5 million apartment development at Golden Four Drive in Tugun.

There are now 23 projects either planned or underway in the Coolangatta area, three more than last year.

The nine projects under construction, worth a total of $900 million, compares favourably to the same time last year, when just six projects were under construction.

Three projects have moved from the planning stage into the construction phase, including an apartment project on Marine Parade at Coolangatta, the Pure apartment project at Kirra and the small Durran Apartments project at Tugun.

The sector with the greatest level of development spending is infrastructure, with this sector accounting for $2.83 billion - or more than 60 per cent – of the total development spend, with six projects in the pipeline.

The residential sector is the other sector in the Coolangatta area seeing a lot of development spending, with more than $1 billion in the pipeline across three projects, all of which are in Currumbin Valley: The $1 billion The Hideaway, the $75 million Ecovillage at Currumbin and a $5 million development on Currumbin Creek Road.

Meanwhile, there are 12 apartment projects in the pipeline, worth a total of $402 million, with this sector ranking third in terms of the dollar value of development spending.

Lynda Campbell, Colliers International Gold Coast Research Manager says the area is also in dire need of new apartment projects

“It now has an extremely low level of new supply, with just 14 apartments available across four projects,” says Campbell.

“The apartment projects in the pipeline will start to alleviate this shortage, however, with some expected to be launched to the market within the next six months.”

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