GOLD Coast Mayor Tom Tate officially claimed his patch of Southport today as he ramps up his efforts to cement the bustling business hub as the city’s official CBD.
Tate yesterday opened his new office in the heritage-listed council chambers building in Nerang Street, where he has relocated his staff.
The move follows Tate’s concerted effort since coming to office to formally identify Southport as the Gold Coast’s central business district, aided by his declaration of the centre as a Priority Development Area (PDA).
The council has approved about $200 million worth of developments in Southport since the declaration.
Tate says it is not just developers who are voting with their feet, but businesses also making the move by relocating to Southport.
“By moving here I want to show businesses how serious I am about establishing our CBD,” Tate says.
Local councillor Dawn Crichlow has welcomed the Mayor’s relocation to her home turf.
“We’re happy to have you here and let’s get Southport really working,” she says.
Tate says Southport has always been recognised as the CBD, but this move cements its position.
New arrival Costa Vorkas, the group director of Brisbane-based Thomson Adsett Architects, says he established a branch office in the CoSpaces building in Nerang Street because he sees Southport as the “original CBD” of the Gold Coast.
“Thomson Adsett has continually seen value in the Gold Coast market and our new Southport office will be the third time Thomson Adsett has invested in establishing a local presence,” he says.
“We believe in the re-emerging Southport CBD so it was a deliberate choice to create a presence here.
“With the PDA declared, there’s been a lot more interest in terms of development and with the light rail, the new hospital and the Commonwealth Games infrastructure under way, there’s certainly a great deal of activity in the area.
“Southport is the place that is really being spoken about. Its hub of activity, proximity to the beach and lifestyle component on offer, really encapsulates everything about the Gold Coast.”
Thomson Adsett has made the move to capitalise on a growing portfolio of work on the Gold Coast.
“We also employ a number of Gold Coast residents who predominantly work out of our Brisbane office, thus the aim is to grow our local project base so that we can in turn expand our local office once again,” says Vorkas.
Other businesses to make the move to Southport include property analyst Urbis and transport consulting firm Total Traffic Solutions.
Urbis, which has moved into the CoSpaces building, says it plans to boost staff numbers on the Gold Coast to 20.
Regional director Peter Hyland says the company sees the Gold Coast as the country’s fastest growing and most diverse economy.
“The right physical infrastructure is now in place in Southport – the light rail, the hospital, the aquatic centre, the legal office spaces, educational organisations and the Broadwater Parklands - I think it has a strong future and an important role to play in the city,” says Hyland.
“It will be a strong multipurpose centre for the Gold Coast that will satisfy the corporate needs of a wide range of companies.”
Total Traffic Solutions, which is based in Singapore, has had a presence in Southport for more than a year in a serviced office, but has just moved into its own office near the proposed Chinatown.
Managing director Marc Mrsic says the company initially chose Southport for its accessibility.
“We’re rapidly building our market here and business is expanding - we just recently moved into our very own office space right in the thick of the new Chinatown district and I think Southport is the right place to do this,” he says.“I know a number of our staff are very excited about the prospect of Chinatown, especially with those located in Singapore, who will see it when they next visit our new Gold Coast office.”
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