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Redevelopment of Southport CBD to boost local economic growth

By Greg Bell

Late last month, the Queensland government began inviting expressions of interest for the sale of the former Gold Coast Hospital site, with the goal of reinvigorating the Southport region through new developments. This could be an encouraging opportunity for the future growth of the Gold Coast as a whole, leading to a number of commercial real estate opportunities in Surfers Paradise.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney stated the project would play a crucial part in the redevelopment and growth of the Southport region, with the 3.4 hectare space creating a great opportunity for a number of different project options. As the Gold Coast continues to strengthen and grow, the opportunity to purchase this land and create a staple of the area could be a great draw card for a wide range of developers. 

"Our government is determined to make the best use of state land, whether it be offering land to community groups for charitable purposes or to private parties with the financial capacity to revitalise sites," said Mr Seeney in a 24 September statement. 

"We also pledged to deliver better planning and last year, in conjunction with council, we declared central Southport a Priority Development Area to streamline the approvals processes and fast-track development. I anticipate this opportunity will attract strong competition from the private sector and generate new construction jobs for the Gold Coast." 

Assistant Minister for Planning and Member for Southport Rob Molhoek said the the section has approval to be subdivided into three separate lots if necessary, in order to help get the maximum benefits out of the region and it's potential growth. 

"It is perfectly positioned to capitalise on more than $3 billion in infrastructure spending underway in Southport, including the development of the new Gold Coast University Hospital, the Gold Coast Rapid Transit system, the Commonwealth Games and the new China Town Precinct," said Mr Molhoek in a 24 September statement, highlighting some of the high-key projects expected to be undertaken in the region over the coming years. 

He went on to say the potential for private investment in the Priority Development Area could be great news for those interested in making use of the space's flexibility and future position in the redevelopment of Southport region. 

"As a maturing city, this tremendous opportunity to shape the Southport CBD is open to all and I encourage proponents to submit their visions for this site," said Mr Molhoek. The deadline for expressions of interest close on 7 November 2014, with work already underway for the destruction of the currently existing buildings. This is expected to be finished by mid-2015. 

Gold Coast G: Link Light Rail

Alongside the future development of Southport is the Gold Coast G: Link Light Rail, with stage one of the $1.2 billion project recently being completed across the region. This piece of infrastructure connects Southport with the rest of the Gold Coast, including the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct, Griffith University and even further abroad into Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach. 

Overall, this vital piece of infrastructure includes 16 stations across 13 kilometres of dedicated railway track to help improve the local region's public transport options. Embracing a more sustainable lifestyle while being able to effectively traverse the local community and commute to and from your destination is a great bonus to have – especially with the future development of the region expected to increase tenfold. 

The preliminary consideration for the second stage of the Light Rail across the Gold Coast is currently being considered, with future development to be announced at a later time. Now is an exciting time to own property in the Gold Coast, with potential for future commercial real estate ventures rising steadily as the region continues to strengthen.

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