THE Gold Coast development “machine” is cranking up again with Mayor Tom Tate naming 2014 “the year of the crane” on the back of a surge in construction approvals.
And in sign that Southport is emerging as a hotspot for developers, it has been revealed that the former Star of the Sea school on Marine Parade has been snared by a mystery buyer just two weeks after hitting the market.
Details of the sale are still under wraps, but news of the sale was broken this morning by Southport‘s Cr Dawn Crichlow during a press conference called to herald the surge in construction activity across the Gold Coast.
Cr Tate says there are currently nine cranes across the Gold Coast skyline with more to come this year as confidence continues to rise in the city’s property sector.
“A traditional indicator of a city’s economic activity and health is the number of cranes on its horizon,” says Cr Tate.
“We know that there are more than nine cranes around the city, signalling the Gold Coast is well and truly open for business.”
Cr Tate this morning toured one of those work sites where construction is advancing on the $50 million Brighton Grand residential development.
The three-building project, located at Brighton Parade, is due for completion in September. It will cater for the luxury end of the market and target owner-occupiers.
Brighton Grand is one of 30 multi-unit projects approved on the Gold Coast in 2013 – a figure almost double the level of two years ago.
Total development approvals across the Gold Coast in 2013 hit 5442, which is up 20 per cent on approvals in 2012.
Cr Tate attributes some of that growth to the city council’s Kickstart Construction program which he says has proved a major catalyst for many new projects.
Brighton Grand developer Sol Sahhr says the council incentives had brought his development forward by six months, creating 100 jobs for the city.
He says Brighton Grand has already fielded a number of enquiries from potential buyers of luxury apartments and he was confident the Gold Coast market had turned the corner.
Less than 200 metres away, one of Australia’s richest men, Harry Triguboff, has started work on the last stage of the Brighton on Broadwater development.
The 55-level tower, which will also house a Woolworths supermarket, has been on the backburner for two years.
Triguboff has moved to take advantage of falling supply in the apartment market, buoyed by the sell-out of the troubled Southport Central development this year.
“Developers are coming here in their hundreds,” says Cr Crichlow who sees the light rail system, expansion of education facilities and the Chinatown project as major catalysts for growth in Southport.
In a bid to stay abreast of the growth, the city council has established a new dedicated planning office in Southport to cater for developers and property buyers.
Cr Tate says the council also may need to expand its planning department to cope with the volume of planning approvals.
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