Work commenced yesterday to build a new CBD on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, providing businesses greater access to service the region’s growing population.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk attended a ceremony at the 53-hectare site to mark the beginning of earthworks at SunCentral Maroochydore.
The new business district is predicted to be home to more than 30,000 permanent jobs by 2040, while adding a $5.9 billion boost to the state economy over the project’s 20-year lifespan.
Once complete, SunCentral Maroochydore will comprise approximately 150,000 square metres of commercial space and a further 65,000 square metres of retail space, in addition to 1,950 residential apartments.
“The Sunshine Coast is already the second-highest performing regional economy in Queensland and the fifth highest nationally,” said SunCentral Maroochydore’s CEO, John Knaggs.
“The Sunshine Coast population has risen from 65,000 to 335,800 in the past 40 years and by 2040, well over half a million people are likely to call the region home.”
The site is the former Horton Park Golf Club which, according to Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson, will be transformed into a vibrant hub of commercial buildings and retail outlets, as well as a hotel and an exhibition, convention and entertainment centre.
Around 40 per cent of the new city centre has been designated for parkland and waterways.
“This is Australia’s only greenfield CBD within an existing urban area, which provides us with the opportunity to build from scratch a city centre that is able to meet the needs of people both now and in the future,” Mr Jamieson said.
“Importantly, given its significance to the Sunshine Coast, this is a project owned by the community. Independent expert analysis suggests our new city centre will grow our local economy by $4.4 billion over the life of the project.”
Shadforth Civil Contractors is one of the first local businesses to benefit from the project, having last week been awarded the seven-figure tender for the first phase of bulk earthworks.
“We are no doubt the first of many local business people to feel the uplift SunCentral Maroochydore will bring to the region,” the company’s director, Ray Shadforth, said.
The state government has already designated a new rail line into Maroochydore to support the new city centre, while light rail is also under consideration.