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Evandale’s redevelopment finds inspiration in unlikely source

By Greg Bell

Evandale, a central Gold Coast precinct, is currently undergoing a major redevelopment that could see the site becoming even more of a cultural and tourism hub than it already is.

An assortment of tourism leaders and the Gold Coast's mayor Tom Tate have this week been visiting a similar precinct in the southwest of China and have been taking notes as inspiration for the Queensland project.

How can Chengdu inspire the Gold Coast?

One of Chengdu's major attractions is the Wanda Cultural Tourism City, a $55billion yuan (AU$10billion) investment that covers 5million square metres with a stage, bars, hotels, a theme park, a mall, and more. It offers a huge array of cultural attractions, and it's where the Australian group of tourism ambassadors and Tom Tate have been visiting for a little inspiration, according to the Gold Coast Bulletin.

The Chengdu development is still in the construction stages, but it's easy to see the sheer scale of the project and how it might create huge opportunities for commercial real estate buyers. Should Evandale receive a similar treatment, there will no doubt be further opportunities on the Gold Coast.

Mr Tate has already explained how he's looking for ways that projects at home can benefit from what the group finds in China.

"We will look at how elements of it could be adapted for our own cultural precinct. Obviously ours will not be on the same magnitude as what they are doing but if there are good ideas, we can look at downsizing them for our own facilities."

He mentioned new, state-of-the-art technology as one particular aspect he was looking forward to seeing.

The plan for Evandale

Evandale is currently a cultural hub featuring a range of civic buildings such as the city's art gallery, the Arts Centre, and the Council Administration Building and Chambers. It's also home to a 16.9hectare parkland that adds recreation and sporting opportunities.

The entire site is currently in its first stage of redevelopment in a move that will revitalise this popular public spot, and add new opportunities for restaurants, bars, entertainment facilities and more. The project is set to cost $37million in the first stage and shine a light on the ample outdoor experiences available on the site.

For example, one of the future stages is rumoured to include an 'arts tower' with a pedestrian bridge that connects to residential Chevron Island.

"There will also be new riverfront facilities, new dining options and an incredible new gallery to showcase our impressive art collection," explained Mr Tate during the initial planning stages.

According to the Cultural Precinct's website, the Evandale redevelopment will help create more opportunities to employ Queenslanders, it will generate additional reputation as a real arts and culture hub, and it will help showcase upcoming Queensland talent in the arts scene. The entire stage one is set to be complete by the beginning of the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

Once stage one is complete, the master plan has outlined further projects including the main Art Tower and Great Hall, as well as finalised Artscape works. Residents and businesses can look forward to the completion of this redevelopment both for cultural enjoyment and potential enterprise opportunities that may arise. In fact, the original plan outlines an estimated $400million in additional income each year due to the new cultural activities and programs that will be on offer on the Gold Coast.

If you're looking to take advantage of the commercial real estate market on the Gold Coast, talk to the team that knows all about upcoming projects that might best suit your wants and needs. Our seasoned experts have the know-how to help turn your aspirations into a reality.

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