June 9, 2017
by Platform Research

Dwelling approvals increase by 4.4 per cent in April – Urbanalyst

Dwellings Approved

Following a revised decrease of 10.3 per cent in March, the total number of new dwellings approved in April increased by 4.4 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms, according to the latest figures released last week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

A total of 17,414 dwellings were approved in April, compared to seasonally adjusted totals of 16,675 in March and 18,595 in February. When compared to the same month in 2016, the number of dwellings approved in April 2017 was down by 17.2 per cent, in seasonally adjusted terms.

In seasonally adjusted terms, dwelling approvals for the month of April increased in Queensland (up 28.2 per cent to 3,827 dwellings), South Australia (up 13.3 per cent to 1,041) and New South Wales (12.0 per cent to 5,692).

Dwelling approvals decreased in Western Australia (down 4.8 per cent to 1,511 dwellings), Tasmania (down 12.1 per cent to 175) and Victoria (12.3 per cent to 4,777).

In seasonally adjusted terms, 9,137 private sector houses were approved in April, compared to 9,093 in March (an increase of 4.4 per cent). A total of 8,039 private sector dwellings excluding houses were approved in April, which was a 9.6 per cent increase when compared to March’s result of 7,332.

For more information, please visit http://www.urbanalyst.com/in-the-news/australia/4429-dwelling-approvals-increase-by-4-4-per-cent-in-april.html

June 9, 2017
by Platform Research

ASX Listed Group Unveils $1 Billion Community in Springfield – The Urban Developer


Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has officially opened the first stage of a $1 billion retirement village in the heart of Springfield.

The Premier said the $1bn Aveo Springfield project represented a great example of well-planned community development.

“Springfield is Queensland’s fastest growing community and in 20 years’ when this development is complete, the area will be home to more than 105,000 Queenslanders,” the Premier said.

The Premier said the opening of Aveo Springfield came just in time for the community to take advantage of a new grants program to help create more inclusive, age-friendly communities.

The Palaszczuk Government has committed $1 million over the next three years through Advancing Queensland: Age-friendly community grants.

Grants made through the program will range from $25,000 up to $100,000 and will help councils, organisations, not-for-profit groups, innovators and the community turn big ideas into action to help make life better for seniors.

As Aveo’s largest project investment to date, it is set to become the country’s largest master-planned senior living community.

Aveo Springfield is located in Springfield Central’s Health City, adjacent to the Mater Private Hospital on a 10-hectare full-service site which will house 2,500 residences once complete.

As part of a 15-plus year project to meet the long term needs of residents, the retirement village will create 5400 jobs in the development stage and generate up to 580 job opportunities once complete.

Aveo Group CEO Geoff Grady said the development was a commitment to grow with older Australians by ensuring good health, greater living choices and a peace of mind to the community.

“We know that by 2036, Springfield will boast a population of over 100,000, of which 20% will be over the age of 65 … this master-planned community will meet the growing needs of retirees wishing to reside in this beautiful region,” Mr Grady said.

The fully-integrated retirement village will include a child care centre, wellness centre, shops and cafes, providing the opportunity for all generations to come together and spend time as a family.

The interior design will incorporate generous flowing spaces, furnishable balconies, ample storage and finishes with ageing in mind, with large windows and light-filled space, neutral palettes for residents to add their personal touch, sleek kitchens and refined fixtures and fittings.

All common areas and residences will be fitted with personal emergency response systems and allow disability access.

“Greater Springfield is growing rapidly and has so much to offer people of all ages with opportunities to live, learn, work and play at the core of what makes this region a true destination of choice,” Springfield Land Corporation Chairman Maha Sinnathamby said.

For more information, please visit https://www.theurbandeveloper.com/aveo-group-unveils-1-billion-intergenerational-retirement-community/

June 2, 2017
by Platform Research

Singaporean Investment Firm Acquires Redbank Plains Site Outbidding Locals – The Urban Developer


Singapore’s Rockworth Capital Partners outbid domestic players to acquire Town Square Redbank Plains in Brisbane for $160 million.

After negotiating the sale on behalf of the Alceon Captrans JV, JLL Head of Retail Investments for Australasia Simon Rooney said the sale represented a growing trend towards offshore investors snapping up quality Australian sub-regional assets.

“Sub-regional retail is the preferred asset class for many offshore groups seeking quality retail exposure, given the defensive and resilient characteristics and positive in-built growth outlook,” he said.

“Assets which are predominately food, service and convenience-based, with a high proportion of non-discretionary retail and limited fashion, offer enhanced and consistent returns and limit trading volatility.

“The lower rental profile of sub-regional centres also provide attractive opportunities for income and capital growth, via asset repositioning and tenancy re mixing.

“The comparative attractive yield profile available in the Australian retail sector, continues to offer strong relative value for offshore investors as evidenced by the recent transactions of Town Square Redbank Plains to Rockworth Capital and Casey Central,” Mr Rooney said.

Mr Rooney said domestic institutions are also keenly pursuing sub-regional centres to secure above-benchmark total returns through active management and asset repositioning.

He said the current series of transactions, such as the Charter Hall acquisition for around $175 million or the current Blackstone retail portfolio sale process currently valued at around $3.5 billion, would be expected to drive retail investment activity in Australia to a new record high in 2017.

Town Square Redbank Plains is strategically positioned within Brisbane’s residential south-west growth corridor, serving a significant residential trade area estimated to be in excess of 50,600 residents and expected to experience robust population growth of 2.3% per annum over the next decade.

The completion of the recent redevelopment incorporated the expansion of the existing 5,900 square metre neighbourhood centre known as Redbank Plains Shopping Village, anchored by a 3,200 square metres Woolworths supermarket, into a major sub-regional shopping centre.

For more information, please visit https://www.theurbandeveloper.com/singaporean-investment-firm-acquires-redbank-plains-site-local-outbid/

June 2, 2017
by Platform Research

Final stage of WestConnex unveiled by NSW Government – Urbanalyst


NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for WestConnex Stuart Ayres this month released the concept design for M4-M5 Link that will provide the vital connection between two of Sydney’s busiest motorways.

The M4-M5 Link consists of tunnels connecting to the New M4 at Haberfield and New M5 at St Peters via Rozelle. It includes an interchange at Rozelle with provision for a future connection to the Western Harbour Tunnel and BeachesLink, and an underground tunnel from the Rozelle Interchange to Victoria Road near Iron Cove Bridge, known as the ‘Iron Cove Link’.

“Like the Harbour Bridge did for the North Shore, the M4-M5 Link will bridge a major gap in the road network, creating a non-stop underground western bypass of Sydney’s CBD with links to the port and airport precincts,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This is the most critical section of WestConnex and the most beneficial in that it will slash travel times, as well as significantly constrain traffic growth on Parramatta Road.”

According to the government, drivers can expect travel savings, including;

  • The average peak journey between Parramatta and Sydney Airport being cut by up to 40 minutes;

  • Around 20 minutes cut from a peak hour trip between Burwood and Sydney Airport;

  • Around half an hour cut from the morning peak hour trip from Port Botany to Silverwater; and

  • Up to 10,000 fewer trucks on Parramatta Road east of Concord.

Mr Ayres said the government has listened to the community, and is now seeking further feedback and ideas to refine the project’s design ahead of the Environmental Impact Statement which will be released mid-year.

“The M4-M5 link will form a key part of Sydney’s road network by connecting to projects like the future Western Harbour Tunnel and F6 extension while also improving the liveability of local communities,” he said.

Mr Ayres also confirmed the government would proceed with the sale of at least a 51 per cent stake in the Sydney Motorway Corporation, the company delivering WestConnex, to help fund the final stage.

For more information, please visit http://www.urbanalyst.com/in-the-news/new-south-wales/4418-final-stage-of-westconnex-unveiled-by-nsw-government.html

May 25, 2017
by Platform Research

Major work officially commences on Bruce Highway Upgrade – Urbanalyst


Major construction has officially commenced on the $929.3 million Bruce Highway Upgrade – Caloundra Road to Sunshine Motorway, which aims to increase safety and ease congestion for around 40,000 motorists who use the route daily.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester and State Main Roads and Road Safety Minister Mark Bailey were on the Sunshine Coast last week to turn the first sod for the upgrade project.

Mr Chester said the project was part of the Australian Government’s record $75 billion commitment to essential airport, road, and rail infrastructure projects.

“Upgrading the Bruce Highway is a priority project of the Australian Government’s infrastructure roll out, evidenced by the $844 million allocated in this year’s budget for new projects,” Mr Chester said.

“This upgrade will provide nearly 700 direct jobs, and project works will include transforming the Caloundra Road Interchange to a Diverging Diamond Interchange—a first for Australia.”

Queensland Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the project was vital for the continued development of the coast and would provide safer, more efficient travel for motorists and industry along this section of the Bruce Highway.

“The project will involve upgrading the Highway from four to six lanes, including major upgrades to both the Caloundra Road and Sunshine Motorway interchanges. A new two-way western service road will also be provided for local traffic between Steve Irwin Way and Tanawha Tourist Drive,” Mr Bailey said.

“Importantly, it will separate long-distance Bruce Highway traffic from local traffic movements, allowing the highway to function as a high-speed, high-volume corridor.

For more information, please visit http://www.urbanalyst.com/in-the-news/queensland/4413-major-work-officially-commences-on-bruce-highway-upgrade-caloundra-to-sunshine-motorway.html

May 25, 2017
by Platform Research

Australian Government commits up to $5.3 billion to build Western Sydney Airport – Urbanalyst


The Australian Government has committed up to $5.3 billion over 10 years in the 2017-18 Budget to build Western Sydney Airport through a new company, WSA Co, and deliver on the government’s commitment to ensure the new airport is operational by 2026.

WSA Co will be established early in the 2017-18 financial year with a high quality board and management team, including extensive private sector experience. Once established, it will enter into a comprehensive set of contracts with the government, based on the same terms as were provided to Sydney Airport Group under its Right of First Refusal.

Under the set of contracts, WSA Co will be constructing an airport with a 3.7 kilometre runway and a terminal with capacity for 10 million passengers a year on an approximate 1,780-hectare site at Badgerys Creek.

The first stage of the airport is also expected to include cargo facilities, maintenance areas, a public transport hub, car parking and areas set aside for business parks.

With construction set to commence by the end of 2018, a tender for enabling works is expected to be issued before the end of 2017. WSA Co will also conduct a procurement process to select a private sector construction company or consortium, most likely under a design and construct contract, for the main construction works.

When the proposed airport opens it is expected to service around five million passengers a year – about the number of passengers that use Gold Coast Airport today. After around five years, this could grow to 10 million passengers each year.

For more information, please visit http://www.urbanalyst.com/in-the-news/new-south-wales/4406-australian-government-commits-up-to-5-3-billion-to-build-western-sydney-airport.html

May 25, 2017
by Platform Research

NSW’s Biggest Hospital Redevelopment Takes Another Step Forward – The Urban Developer


Health Infrastructure will move forward with New South Wales’ largest hospital redevelopment after appointing a contractor to their $900 million Westmead Hospital project.

Multiplex was appointed to undertake the main work within the Westmead health, education and research precinct, which will include a 12 storey acute services building designed by architects HDR Rice Daubney.

It will connect Westmead Hospital and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and provide a total of 95,559 square metres of space, hosting a range of adult and paediatric services including emergency, pharmacy, imaging and state-of-the art operating suites.

The project is expected to generate some 1,500 construction jobs per year.

Under an ‘Early Contractor Involvement’ arrangement, Mulitplex will work with Westmead clinicians, patients, families and community members to finalise the design for the redevelopment.

Multiplex Regional Managing Director David Ghannoum said he was excited to play such a vital role in the Westmead Redevelopment

“Not only will it deliver much-needed improved medical services to Greater Western Sydney, but the project will also generate significant employment throughout its construction and beyond,” he said.

“We intend to use this opportunity to leave a positive legacy in the Greater Western Sydney area, with a number of social investments planned including committing five per cent of the total contract price to Aboriginal Participation in Construction (APIC).”

For more information, please visit https://www.theurbandeveloper.com/nsws-biggest-hospital-redevelopment-takes-another-step-forward/

May 19, 2017
by Platform Research

Jobs galore at Orion – The Queensland Times

Orion Springfield

If you consider yourself a retail pro or master chef, then Orion Springfield Central may just have your next job opportunity.

The positions- a store manager for Kathmandu, store manager for ITShop Group and a 2nd-3rd year apprentice chef for the popular Orion Hotel were all posted to the shopping centre’s Facebook page yesterday, receiving 110 comments and 57 shares.

Orion Springfield Central marketing manager Yasmin Chrzescijanski said interest in the positions had been extremely positive and she could now reveal the opening date for the much anticipated Kathmandu store.

“The response to the jobs has been overwhelming with over 4500 clicks online,” Ms Chrzescijanski said.

“We’re also happy to say that Kathmandu is on track to open in early June.

Orion Hotel Head Chef Tristan Corcoran said the team of seven chefs were excited to receive the different job applications and were hoping to employ someone from the Greater Springfield community.

“We’re looking to replace some staff that are leaving, so if we can get someone from around the area that would be perfect as we’re a community-based hotel and most of the people who work here live locally,” Mr Corcoran said.

For more information, please visit https://www.qt.com.au/news/jobs-galore-at-orion/3179468/

May 19, 2017
by Platform Research

Brisbane Fast Emerging Out of Southern Shadow – BrisbaneDevelopment.com


Significant social and economic change will propel Brisbane into Australia’s metropolitan major league with Sydney and Melbourne over the next decade, according to a report from Australian demographer Bernard Salt.

Imagining Brisbane in 2027 predicts the River City will experience a ‘transformative catch-up phase’ and join Sydney and Melbourne as one of Australia’s 21st Century business and cultural hubs.

“Brisbane is steadily and determinedly elbowing its way into the cosy coterie of the Sydney-Melbourne nexus,” Mr Salt said.

“No longer will it seem that Sydney and Melbourne operate as the only portals through which the Australian economy connects with the rest of the world.

“The scale, culture and lifestyle that is present in Sydney and Melbourne today will be increasingly absorbed within Brisbane.

“Sydney and Melbourne will still be important, still the dominant cities by 2027, but their primacy will be lessened by the rise of Brisbane.”

Brisbane’s step up to major city status will be driven by factors including significant population growth, immigration and the rise of the knowledge or tertiary-educated workforce, according to the report.

These gear shifts will transform the way people live and see the growth of knowledge worker communities around the CBD and within inner suburbs

Mr Salt said one of the major shifts in Brisbane’s evolution and growth would be increased residential density within 3km of the CBD.

“Brisbane’s inner urban footprint is ripe for residential density,” he said.

“At the 2011 Census, almost one-third of dwellings within this zone were separate dwellings, as compared with 9 per cent and 4 per cent in Melbourne and Sydney respectively.

For more information, please visit https://brisbanedevelopment.com/brisbane-fast-emerging-out-of-southern-shadow/

May 19, 2017
by Platform Research

Construction Begins On Melbourne’s Newest Rail Line – The Urban Developer


Construction has officially commenced on the brand new rail line that will carry train services to the heart of one of Victoria’s fastest growing areas.

Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan joined Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green in Mernda to mark the start of works on the extension of the South Morang line to Mernda.

Over the coming weeks, construction crews will establish work areas, remove vegetation and prepare the rail corridor for major construction to ramp up later this year.

“The community fought for this project and now we are delivering it – to bring frequent, reliable services to the heart of our growing community,” Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green said.

The $600 million Mernda Rail Extension will build eight kilometres of new, duplicated track and three state-of-the-art stations at Mernda, Hawkstowe and near Marymede Catholic College. The stations are expected to be used by around 8,000 passengers every day when they open in early 2019.

The last time a train line was extended by more than two stations was in 1930, when the East Malvern line was extended to Glen Waverley.

Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan said she thought the project will change people’s lives for the better.

“The project is fully funded, construction is underway and we’re not wasting a moment getting on with it,” she said in a statement.

The Victorian Government said the project will create up to 3,000 jobs – 1,200 directly during construction and as many as 1,800 indirectly in local businesses and industries supported by the project. It is also expected to support more than 70 ongoing jobs once trains are up and running.

Like every major Labor Government project, the Mernda Rail Extension will also provide employment for young workers and people re-skilling from other industries, with at least 10 per cent of work carried out by trainees, apprentices and engineering cadets.

For more information, please visit https://www.theurbandeveloper.com/construction-begins-melbournes-newest-rail-line/