The far-reaching impacts of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast

By Greg Bell

A year out from the Commonwealth Games, everything is coming along very well. The Queen launched the baton relay from London a few days ago, the light rail is looking great, and infrastructure upgrades across the board are making quick progress.

While the Gold Coast's growth for the Commonwealth Games is excellent, the 2018 event is not a full stop on the benefits this work provides – infrastructure laid down now will be beneficial for commercial enterprises on the Gold Coast for many, many years beyond this.

Growing infrastructure means a growing workforce

The projects underway on the Gold Coast are immense. The Metricon Stadium is upgrading its capacity from about 40,000 to nearly 60,000 people. The Gold Coast Airport will receive an upgrade, to accommodate more tourists during the Games. The light rail project could extend past Broadbeach all the way to Burleigh, and the recently completed hospital is a crown jewel for local infrastructure.

Any one of these achievements would be impressive on their own. Together, they create significant growth, bringing more people on board and boosting the local economy. Developers, engineers, architects and planning professionals need more staff with every new project that occurs on the Gold Coast. Brisbane-based businesses will start opening local offices, and new startups will begin taking up space in our economy.

This ramps up demand for commercial real estate on the Gold Coast, creates more jobs, improves business confidence, and generates more retail and office space.

More jobs in general reduces commercial property vacancies, stabilises rents, and increases demand and supply for residential real estate. This is growth that doesn't actually occur because of the Games itself – it's everything before the event that creates a stronger economy that will last for a long, long time.

Unknown factors that can boost the Gold Coast's reputation

Come April the 4th 2018, the eyes of the world will be on the Gold Coast. Athletes are not the only ones on display – our entire region will be scrutinised. I have no doubts that the City of Gold Coast is up to the challenge – just look at the development of the athletes' village and local infrastructure. But this focus also brings into play some unknown factors.

People watching the Gold Coast from overseas will get unprecedented access to how we do things here. Everything from corner store retailers to gold medal winners will be available – it's like the world's biggest advertising campaign for our corner of the country.

This could spur a significant level of international interest in Gold Coast property, especially considering the capital growth we have seen in recent years. While not on the same level as Sydney or Melbourne, our commercial sector is nonetheless excellent for capital growth and strong yields – especially in the retail and industrial sectors.

Buyers from India, South Africa, Singapore and Malaysia in particular could be a market that turn their attention to Gold Coast commercial property courtesy of this exposure.

More entertainment for the Gold Coast

The Metricon Stadium expansion is another feature that will have long-term benefits for the Gold Coast. After the Commonwealth Games finish, we will have a venue with the capacity to hold bigger and better sporting events. Big name cricket matches, more support for the Gold Coast Suns, A-League games and more can come to the region with more frequency. 

All told, the long-term impacts of the current infrastructure growth is superlative. Jobs, entertainment, transport, healthcare, tourism and property development all stand to benefit from ongoing work. It's a pretty good time to be around the Gold Coast. 

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