CBD: land of the giants

2018 we’ll see new centre grow

The floor plan for the future Maroochydore CBD is pretty dirty at present. Preliminary earthworks are happening on the 53ha site which is now unrecognisable from its past as the Horton Park Golf Course, a mass of dirt tracks which will become boulevards and vacant blocks that will become homes for thousands.
A flyover video posted on the Maroochydore City website shows just how much progress has been made on the future city that will be home to the region’s tallest buildings. SunCentral CEO John Knaggs said buildings would start going up from 2018 in the first two stages, precincts three and six, after expressions of interest were sought recently from potential developers of the Principal Centre (CBD) zone.
Buildings are expected to range in height from five to six storeys through to 15, 20 and 25 storey buildings, eclipsing the region’s current tallest buildings which are Mantra (Mooloolaba, 18 floors, 62m) and Northcliffe (Maroochydore, 16 floors, 54m).
Among the planned uses within those buildings will be vertical aged care and retirement facilities, along with professional services, residences, technology, education and research industries. The Sunshine Coast Council-owned SunCentral company is effectively the council’s development manager of the site.
SunCentral’s already been handed a purse of $53 million over the past two financial years from the council, Mr Knaggs said, as well as $42 million spent by the council to compensate the former Horton Park Golf Club, who relocated to Bli Bli and are now the Maroochy River Golf Club.
The company’s task is to deliver all public infrastructure on the site, including streetscaping, smart technology, parklands and laying extensive underground fibre optic cable through the Greenfield site. The early earthworks are set to be finished in the next two to three months, with next year set to see civil works undertaken and titles released ahead of the expected 2018 construction start.
Mr Knaggs said the process was expected to be cost-neutral, with the staged development released and sold bringing in revenue which would offset the council’s expenditure. He believed there was no issue with the future of Sunshine Plaza given the retail spaces that would be delivered as part of the new CBD. He said they would guide the mix of retail outlets in planning to ensure a conglomerate didn’t take charge.

The expression of interest process opened last month and Mr Knaggs said it had progressed very well to date, expecting it to be finalised within the next six to twelve months. Among the features of the new city, a push towards public transport, walking and cycling, with “contemporary” car parking allocations, although three multi-storey car parks would be built in the early stages. It would be up to the council to decide whether they will be paid parking sites or not though, Mr Knaggs said.

Sunshine Coast Daily
Scott Sawyer

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Posted in Press Clippings