The Queensland state government has announced a $351 million commitment towards the next stage of the Gold Coast Light Rail that would connect the southern Gold Coast to the remainder of the line.
Stage 3A will extend the existing route by seven kilometres from Broadbeach South to Burleigh Heads and includes eight new train stations.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk expects it would take around three years to build Stage 3A, with the possibility of trams operating to Burleigh Heads by 2023.
But $709 million is needed to build the third stage. And what the Queensland government has announced is almost half, with the Premier calling on federal funding to increase its current $112 million commitment to the Gold Coast extension.
Palaszczuk says state government is “all aboard” to build the project’s third stage, but called for a “fair funding deal” from federal government to get the project on track.
The current commitment federal government has made to the Gold Coast project’s third stage is $112 million, or 16 per cent.
“What we’re asking the Morrison government to do is commit $269 million to the project which is the same proportion funding arrangement (38 per cent) they invested in stage one.
Stage 1 – The federal government committed 38 per cent of total costs.
Stage 2 – The federal government committed 22 per cent of total costs.
Stage 3A – The federal government has committed 16 per cent of total costs.
The prime minister is scheduled to be in Queensland this week for the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), where the premier says the two will discuss the project’s funding further.
In the five years since its first operation more than 42 million passengers have used the G:link service. During the Commonwealth Games more than one million tram trips were taken.
The third stage of delivery is expected to create 760 jobs during construction.
Jerry Schwartz Snaps Up Ralan’s Paradise Resort for $43m
Hotel mogul Jerry Schwartz has secured the Gold Coast’s Paradise Resort, a former asset of collapsed property developer Ralan Group, for $43 million.
Ralan Group, which went into administration in August, paid $75 million for the hotel in 2015, and had plans to bulldoze the resort for three towers of Ruby apartments.
Schwartz says he plans for a major refurbishment to upgrade the 360-room hotel which spans a 2.5 hectare site in Surfers Paradise.
“I am very optimistic about the Gold Coast market, despite new supply coming on stream,” Schartz said of his latest purchase which settles in February next year.
The latest buy marks Schwartz second hotel on the Gold Coast following the acquisition of the five-star Hilton Surfers Paradise for $70 million from Chinese Group Ja Feng in January.
Speaking on his refurbishment plans, Schwartz said the resort offered “upside potential”.
“I know that previous owners planned to knock down the resort and redevelop it for apartments,” Schwartz said.
“But we believe there is tremendous demand for quality family-friendly resorts, especially in such prime locations as Surfers Paradise.
“I have taken over two other resorts – the Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains and Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley – and revived them as a result of diversifying their markets.”
Schwartz is Australia’s largest private owner of hotels, with the latest buy expanding the Schwartz Family Company’s portfolio to 15 hotels.
The portfolio also includes the Four Points Sheraton at Central park in Sydney, the Sofitel Darling Harbour, and Rydges World Square.
Ralan Group, led by director William O’Dwyer, went into voluntary administration earlier this year leaving apartment buyers at risk after investigations found a shortfall of $277 million in the developer’s trust account for deposits.
Last week, Ralan’s receivers put the Sapphire site, a whole city block located on the fringes of Surfers Paradise, on the market.
Ralan had purchased the 11,470sq m city block site also in 2015 for just under $20 million.
Sunland Wins Approval for Mermaid Waters Apartments
Residential developer Sunland has received approval from the Gold Coast City Council for its $240 million lakefront apartment development in Mermaid Waters on the Gold Coast.
The residential development is part of the Queensland-based developer’s masterplanned community The Lakes, a 42-hectare $1.3 billion project that will eventually have its own community and leisure-lifestyle retail village.
Plans, lodged late in 2018 for 289 new high-end apartments spanning four buildings, were revised in June increasing the number of apartments to 310.
The four mid-rise towers, designed by ex-Zaha Hadid designer Contreras Earl, will offer one, two and three-bedroom apartments overlooking the newly-named “Lake Unity” and ground level retail.
The two 10-storey buildings at the centre of the design feature ground-level retail and commercial spaces that will link to the future retail village, while the two 12-storey buildings will accommodate extensive resident amenities.
The approved buildings form part of a mega-site bordered by Bermuda Street and Hooker Boulevard that was acquired by Sunland Group in 2014 for $61 million.
Managing director Sahba Abedian said the project would provide unique opportunities capturing lakefront, city skyline, and hinterland views.
“The Lanes Residences combines leading architecture with retail, lifestyle and leisure amenities of an unprecedented scale.”
“The buildings will link to the future retail village at The Lanes and feature their own ground-level retail and commercial spaces, as well as extensive resident amenities.”
The development will also feature a 4,500sq m community lakeside green, which will form the centrepiece of project and become a focal point for the outdoor retail promenade.
The ASX-listed developer, which builds apartments and housing lots, currently holds a portfolio of 4,292 residential homes with a total end vale of $3 billion.
Earlier this year, Sunland offloaded the convenience retail asset Lakeview Retail Centre adjoining The Lakes precinct for $20 million in order to up capital to invest back into the masterplanned community.
Early works have already commenced, with two tower cranes installed on site with the project set to be launched to the market early 2020.
Construction is also under way at Sunland’s $250 million high-rise development on Hedges Avenue in Mermaid Beach.
The developer has plans with the Gold Coast City Council for a 16-level boutique apartment project located at 180 Marine Parade in Labrador.
Five Australian Cities Make World’s Top 30 Luxury Residential Markets
Australia’s ultra-luxury residential market, largely unaffected by the impact of recent lending restrictions, has continued to record positive growth in the prestige sector of the market.
Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Perth make up the five Australian cities which rank in the world’s top 30 cities for luxury residential price growth.
The major east coast cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast have now recorded 25 quarters, or more, of positive annual growth for luxury property, according to Knight Frank’s Prime Global Cities Index for the third quarter 2019.
Defined as the most desirable and expensive property in a given location, prime property is generally the top 5 per cent of each market, by value.
Sydney ranks 17th in the global rankings, with 2.6 per cent annual growth, Melbourne at 21st spot recording 2 per cent growth.
Brisbane followed closely ranking 22nd with 2 per cent growth, the Gold Coast which was included in the Index for the first time earlier this year moved up the rankings to 26 with a 1.3 per cent increase, and Perth ranked at 30th recording a 0.7 per cent rise.
Knight Frank’s Prime Global Cities Index
|City||12-Month Change (Q3 2018 -Q3 2019)|
|26. Gold Coast||1.3%|
Knight Frank’s head of prestige Residential Deborah Cullen says the top end of the market is showing more consideration and time in transacting.
“There is still strong interest from local and expat buyers for blue ribbon areas and for “best in class” assets, in particular the waterfront areas of Sydney,” Cullen said.
“Growth in prime property prices closely follows the performance on the stock exchange,” Knight Frank head of residential research Michelle Ciesielski said.
“And there have been some significant gains made on the Australian sharemarket in 2019.
“Collectively the Australian prime market has continued to see sustainable growth of 2 per cent in the year ending September 2019, whilst the sharemarket recorded a 7.7 per cent return,” Ciesielski said.
Slowdown gathers pace in top-tier cities
The global cities index increased by just 1.1 per cent in the year to September 2019, down from 3.4 per cent last year, with slower prime price growth attributable to mounting economic headwinds.
Despite a longer-than-expected period of loose monetary policy and steady wealth creation, the report notes that luxury sales volumes are at their weakest for several years in many of the first tier global cities.
“Slower global economic growth– the IMF lowered its 2019 forecast from 3.3 per cent to 3 per cent in October – along with escalating headwinds: US-China trade relations, Hong Kong’s political tensions, a US presidential election in 2020 and the Brexit conundrum are influencing buyer sentiment,” the index notes.
Moscow recorded the highest rate of growth with an 11 per cent increase over the year to September.
The report notes that Moscow leads the index largely due to strengthening demand and the completion of a number of high-end projects in prime areas like Ostozhenka and Tverskoy.
The prime global cities index is a valuation-based index that tracks the movement in prime residential prices in local currency, using data, across 40 cities.
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