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Surge of developers, investors riding boutique wave on southern Gold Coast



gold coast development

A SWELL has been quietly building in the Gold Coast’s property market over the past 18 months with a surge in development and investment.

But it’s rising from the southern end of the Glitter Strip and not from the more well-established beachside precincts of Southport, Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.

And in a major shift for the Coast, much of its momentum is coming from smaller boutique high-rise apartment developments for owner-occupiers rather than investor-focused supertowers.

Another key driving force is a massive infrastructure spending list — including the proposed $600 million extension of the light rail to Burleigh Heads and game-changing $500 million upgrade to the Gold Coast Airport precinct.

“Certainly, there seems to be more activity generally in those beachside precincts south of Broadbeach,” said Colliers International Gold Coast director Darrell Irwin. “And the surge in development is flowing into the commercial, retail and investment markets.”

Among the hot spots are Burleigh Heads, Palm Beach, Bilinga and Coolangatta.

Mr Irwin said besides the mooted major infrastructure works, the reluctance of banks to fund bigger residential developments had resulted in the shift of focus to the southern Gold Coast and smaller apartment projects.

“If you drive around Southport’s Priority Development Area (PDA) there’s 20 or 30 different sites where you could do 100 storeys,” he said.

“In theory, it may seem all well and good to have a PDA where developers can pretty much do what they like.

“But actually it has been counter-productive because developers are concerned about all the potential competition and the banks don’t want to fund projects of such a scale in Southport. So, it’s a bit of a double whammy.

“Also, owner-occupiers want to live near the beach and have the lifestyle and amenity — including all the trendy cafes and restaurants — that the southern end of the Gold Coast offers rather than live at Southport.

“And the banks are far more comfortable with the smaller boutique projects aimed at owner-occupiers, so they’re easier to fund and easier for developers to get in and out of more quickly.

“It’s the combination of all these factors that is the reason why the southern end of the Coast is really firing.”

Projects ranging from townhouses to mid-rise apartment towers of seven to 26 storeys by savvy locally-based developers — including Sunland, Morris Property Group, the Neumann family, Lacey Group and Cru Collective — are already underway.

And according to Mr Irwin, a growing number of interstate developers are now circling development opportunities along the Coast’s southern strip.

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Real Estate Gold: Surfers Paradise Block Hits the Market



Real Estate Gold: Surfers Paradise Block Hits the Market
An entire city block in the heart of Surfers Paradise is being offered to the market for the first time in over 40 years.

3 Cypress Avenue covers over 1-hectare adjacent to a Gold Coast light rail station – a state-of-the-art infrastructure system. It enjoys a direct pathway to the beach, as well as stunning views of the coastline.

The site is being marketed by CBRE’s Jonathan O’Brien and Mike Walsh and Knight Frank’s James Branch and Mark Witheriff.


CBRE’s Jonathan O’Brien said the development site is a very strategic holding with flexibility for a huge range of uses (STCA).

“The site has the advantage of mixed-use zoning with no height restrictions. We envisage a potential masterplan approach with any number of development options including residential, retail, commercial and a hotel,” O’Brien said.

“This is an outstanding opportunity to acquire a central beachside development site on this scale without any material impediments to development and a pro-development local council. We expect to receive interest from a range of national and international developers.”

Knight Frank’s James Branch said that the size of 10,418 square metres is impossible to replicate so close to the Surfers Paradise CBD precinct.

Rail image

“The flexibility in design and use, as well as the sites proximity to the very active heart of Surfers Paradise and very importantly its immediate access to the new Gold Coast Light Rail system, makes the site an inimitable prospect,” Branch said.

“With the extremely limited ability to create a site of this scale in central Surfers Paradise and with these attributes, the opportunities are seemingly limitless.”

“The Gold Coast, with Surfers Paradise at its heart, has long since been the tourism heart of Australia. Now with the Commonwealth Games, increasing infrastructure spending and the ever-increasing global presence of the Gold Coast, this market sector is set to continue to grow.”

Knight Frank’s Mark Witheriff said that he expected the Gold Coast tourism sector to continue to strengthen and underpin the potential use of part or all of the site for hotel-style accommodation.

“This is supported by the most recent tourism statistics showing that visitors to the Gold Coast has increased to 12.9 million per annum, spending in excess of $5 billion, and 1.1 million international passengers through the Gold Coast airport in the same 12 month period,” Witheriff said.

“With an extremely limited supply of any new short term accommodation being supplied, there is an ever-increasing pressure to adequately supply this market sector. We can’t identify a more suitable site for the new accommodation to cater for this market.

“Again the location of the light rail station on the doorstep of the site provides perfect access for tourists to easily access the coastal strip and eventually to the Gold Coast airport.”

Expressions of Interest for the site close on Tuesday, 24 April 2018.

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Gold Coast Council Approves $550m Regeneration of Old Hospital Site



Gold Coast Council Approves $550m Regeneration of Old Hospital Site
The site of the former Gold Coast Hospital in Southport will be transformed into a $550 million masterplanned residential hub, with council giving their tick of approval for the first stage of “Queen Street Village”.

Stage one includes the Palladium – a 19-storey building which features 17 levels of residential apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms and a retail piazza on the ground level.

Stale hospital rooms will be replaced with apartment views of Surfers Paradise as Brisbane-based developer, Property Solutions has proposed a seven-tower development on the 3.2-hectare site.


The proposed seven towers will range in height from 16 to 25 storeys and the site will include a residential care, a retirement facility, theatre, health care services, food and drink outlets along with a showroom and offices.

Property Solutions sales and marketing director Craig Wright says the initial research identified the large site as the ideal place for the Village with proximity to Southport CBD and the local population expected to grow 3.5 per cent per annum over the next 20 years.

The $550 million village will be developed over the next six to eight years on the site bound by Queen Street, Nerang Street and Little High Street in Southport.

Other Property Solutions developments include James Street at Fortitude Valley, The Barracks at Paddington, SW1 at Southbank and the urban redevelopment of Nundah Village.

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Star Launch New Gold Coast Hotel



Star Launch New Gold Coast Hotel
Star Entertainment Group will officially open their new hotel at the Star Gold Coast later this month ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

The new 17-storey hotel, “The Darling”, features 57 rooms ranging in size from 70sq m to 328sq m. The group is currently undertaking a $345 million refurbishment of The Star Gold Coast in Broadbeach.

The launch comes as the ASX-listed Star Entertainment recorded a first-half statutory net profit loss of 76.8 per cent to $32.9 million weighed down by $32 million of significant items and debt restructuring costs.

The group announced that it recorded normalised net profit of $120 million, up 12.4 per cent from the corresponding period, with chief executive Matt Bekier saying the performance of the Star’s Queensland properties had been “pleasing” in the first months of 2018.

The STar

The Star Entertainment Group managing director Geoff Hogg said the Star team was preparing to finally unveil the hotel after three years.

“The Darling positions The Star Gold Coast at the premium end of the market and ensures the Gold Coast has an even more compelling value proposition as we seek to compete on a global scale for domestic and international visitors,” Hogg said.

Designed by Steelman Partners, the hotel was delivered by DBI Design and Probuild.

The Darling connects to the recently refurbished five-star hotel, The Star Grand.

Pending successful pre-sales, the planned addition of the first mixed-use residential apartment and hotel tower on Broadbeach Island – the 53-storey tower The Star Residences – could be the first of up to five within a future master plan as part of a joint venture with Hong Kong-based partners Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium.

Together, the refurbishment of the existing property and the development of both The Darling and the proposed hotel and residential tower would involve a combined investment of up to $850 million.

The Gold Coast is the second Star hotel to adopt The Darling brand joining The Darling at The Star Sydney.

Last month the Gold Coast Airport revealed plans for a $50 million Rydges-branded hotel as part of the airport’s Preliminary Draft Major Development Plan. It would include a four-star Rydges hotel in the precinct, featuring up to 200 rooms, conference facilities and a roof-top bar, swimming pool and restaurant.

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