Issue 7 | March 30th, 2017 | What Is Your Opinion On The ASF Spit Development?
There are two factual pieces of information that supports much of the opinions and speculations that are floating around the market about the Gold Coast.
Firstly, everyone is of the opinion that the Gold Coast is the Number 1 property market in Australia for 2017. Well, to support that we can report that as the largest real estate office in Queensland, and therefore of course the largest real estate office on the Gold Coast, we recorded the highest volume and the highest dollar value of sales ever in our company’s history in January, again in February and now again in March. Collectively, this has been the biggest quarter of real estate activity and prices in our company’s 28 year history. The significance of that is not just a one off event, but three consecutive months of records, and so it reflects the consistent strength in the property market.
The second factual statistic was the results of our last in room auction, where some 16 properties went to auction, resulting in 75% selling prior to or on the day of the auction. These auction results are reflecting amongst the highest percentage success rate of an in-room auction anywhere in the country, and the highest levels for a 10+ auction event in the Coast’s history.
Both of these are real clear signs that there is great strength in the market. Yes, I acknowledge that our company is getting better results than other real estate companies, but you can’t deny that is also a reflection of the strength of the Gold Coast property market.
THE ASF DEVELOPMENT – HAVE YOUR SAY!
Let’s look into a very significant development proposed for the Gold Coast, the ASF Development. The Gold Coast community feedback is being sought regarding the development, and is an integral part of the development application process. I am referring to the development of the vacant land between the SeaWorld carpark and our fishing trawlers base at Main Beach along the Spit.
ASF, the development company, is proposing a $3 billion integrated resort, which would be a huge turbo charge for the Gold Coast. If you have a think back, it has been decades since we have had infrastructure delivering such long term benefits.
As usual, on so many fronts in the community, there is this massive indifference to things of significance in our community. It is often a very small minority that get to vocalise their passions, and somehow this leaves an impression that it is how the great majority think. This community consultative process is a genuine attempt to get a much broader representation of what the Gold Coast community is thinking about this development. It is important that everyone carefully analyses the pros and cons, and voices their opinion.
I encourage you to provide your feedback whether it be positive, neutral or negative.
HAVE YOU RESEARCHED THE BENEFITS?
For what it is worth, can I suggest that the Spit has been an over neglected part of the Gold Coast for a long period of time. It is clearly two distinct sections. The northern end is open space that has largely been the domain of backpackers and the occasional visit by a Gold Coaster for a Sunday afternoon drive. No council or government has ever invested any money into developing it into a great outdoors, usable space. The southern end is where some development has occurred and some beautiful assets such as the Sheraton Hotel, Versace Hotel, SeaWorld and Marina Mirage Shopping. These are magnificent assets that help stimulate the Gold Coast economy in so many ways.
I believe it is a win-win, with a balance between development and open space. I believe this win-win can be enhanced further with this disused parcel of land being used for further economic stimulant within this precinct of development. Money from this development can then be channelled into the improvement of the open space component. In fact, the ASF proposed development is less than 3% of the total Spit landmass.
From my perception, there are some enormous benefits for the Gold Coast and they include; world class infrastructure assets such as an iconic waterfront piazza, multiple 5 and 6 star hotels, signature restaurants, theatres, new shows and entertainment, luxury and boutique retail precinct and serviced residence and conference facilities. This would be an iconic development that would bring so much additional business to the Gold Coast.
There will be 4100 construction jobs, during the 5 year construction phase, and an estimate of 9100 permanent jobs when fully operational. That is 9100 jobs for Gold Coaster’s.
It is also projected it will generate an additional $2.1 million visitor nights on the Gold Coast. Can you imagine the flow on benefits to everybody from transport companies, retailers, theme parks, restaurants and just about every other major business house of the Gold Coast? This will stimulate so many additional jobs in other Gold Coast businesses.
The big issue for many is the impact on transportation. An integral part of any approval for this development is in improving traffic. We already know the congestion that happens as a result of SeaWorld every afternoon and so as part of the proposal there is a two stage traffic plan. The first includes a delivery of a new bridge, crossing the Broadwater, road intersection and upgrades, walking and cycling tracks, and as well as encouraging public transport. There is over $100 million investment in addressing traffic issues in that first stage. The second stage includes; road upgrades from Gold Coast Highway to North Street, the extension of light rail and a ferry service.
So as I say, this is a proposal that Gold Coasters at large should be providing their feedback on. We can’t have all the things we want as a city without accommodating these types of developments to keep securing our city for the future.
Thank you for your time this week and I will look forward to more news for you in a fortnights time.
Andrew Bell, OAM
Chief Executive Officer
The Ray White Surfers Paradise Group