The start of light rail passenger services on the Gold Coast has ushered an era of prosperity for local businesses, the real estate market and the tourism industry.
Ray White Surfers Paradise CEO Andrew Bell says the delivery of the light rail system is a major step forward for the Gold Coast and in the next few years will create demand for residential and tourist accommodation nearby the route.
“Because it links key business, education, medical and entertainment precincts, the light rail route will be sought after by residents, students and visitors seeking convenient, car-free access to work, study and play,” he said.
Mr Bell said the light rail system was the most significant piece of infrastructure to be delivered on the Gold Coast for 20 years.
“It is part of our growth into an international city and reflects the confidence our State Government has in the future of the Gold Coast,” he said.
“Billion dollar infrastructure investment is not delivered without demand – and our City’s growth and future prospects has created that demand.”
Ray White Commercial Gold Coast director Greg Bell said demand would rise for retail space along the 13km route at Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach as the system gained traction as a reliable form of public transport.
He said retailers disrupted by the light rail construction works were now poised to reap the benefits of occupying space on the route.
“Restaurants, in particular, will thrive as people realise they can leave their car at home and take the light rail to and from venues along the route,” he said.
Mr Bell said he expected the light rail to be a catalyst for further development on landholdings fronting or close to the track.
“Developers will see the value in residential, commercial and mixed-use projects that are either on or close to the rail line,” he said.
“We are already seeing more interest in existing and potential development sites in these areas.”
Mr Bell said major projects like these took time to find their legs and its success shouldn’t be judged too quickly.
“This infrastructure will require a certain amount of cultural change on the part of residents and visitors regarding public transport,” he said.
“So it will take some time before the city realises the full impact of this.”