PROPERTY veteran Norm Rix expects the welcome mat to be out in January for the first customers to his biggest venture in a 60-year career, the $100 million Pimpama City shopping centre.
The developer yesterday said that he was determined to make the district centre “something really special” but that it would not be his swan song.
“I know I’m running out of time at 82 so it’s full steam ahead with Pimpama City,” he said.
“I’m sure other opportunities will come along and I won’t be able to say ‘no’.”
Final planning approvals for the 18,000sq m Pimpama City were gained last week.
The centre is to be anchored by blue-chip majors Coles, Aldi and Best and Less.
It is in the heart of a suburb named by the Housing Industry Association as the nation’s No. 1 residential hotspot — its population grew 35 per cent in 2015-16.
Mr Rix said this growth would ensure Pimpama City would “buzz”.
“It will be a beehive for not just Pimpama but for Jacobs Well and indeed Ormeau,” he said.
Pimpama City’s first two stages are under way on the 16ha balance of a larger site assembled since 2010 through purchases from Mirvac, the Main Roads Department, the city council, and a mortgagee to developer Mike Moorhead.
Some of the ex-Moorhead today is home to Kings College, which is poised to name a community hall after Mr Rix.
Stage one of Pimpama City will consist of a Coles Express service station, a Zarraffa’s coffee outlet, Subway and other food outlets, a Pitstop convenience centre, laundromat, six-bay car and boat wash, and three dog-wash facilities.
The second stage, apart from the majors, will include 26 speciality stores, a Chemist Warehouse, KFC, Hungry Jack’s, National Australia Bank, Jetts gymnasium, a medical centre, and parking for 700 vehicles.
The 1810sq m Aldi outlet will be a new format one that will include fresh food and produce.
Mr Rix said he expected the second stage to be open by September next year.
He said he was still finalising plans for the 7ha balance of the Pimpama City site, with options including bulk-goods outlets, quasi-government tenants, a private hospital, and a retirement home.
The developer’s first retail foray was the Ashmore City centre, which he sold for $30.7 million in 1998.
He subsequently has built three Pitstop strip centres and four years ago completed the $70 million Coomera Grand at Upper Coomera.
Originally Published: www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au
Cbus Eyes $1bn Infrastructure Target
In the face of a weakening economic outlook, construction industry super fund Cbus is actively targeting an additional $1 billion in infrastructure projects in Australia.
After the mining boom and then the housing boom, the nation’s economic hopes now seemed to be pinned on its biggest-ever infrastructure boom with the government saying it would, where possible, fast track projects from its 10-year, $100 billion infrastructure program.
Yet while investment in infrastructure has been occurring at record levels, with $123 billion of construction work commenced since 2015, the challenge facing policymakers is to maintain and bolster current levels of spending.
Speaking at the Master Builders National Summit in Canberra, Cbus infrastructure chief Diana Callebaut said the super fund developer would be targeting an additional $1 billion in infrastructure projects in Australia, despite the challenging conditions.
“The current environment is difficult to navigate as there are no historical periods that are similar — it’s a black swan event,” Callebaut said.
“Against this backdrop, we are putting to our investment committee a proposal to increase the infrastructure asset class allocation to 13 per cent — which equates to approximately investing an additional $1 billion in infrastructure in Australia and overseas.”
Record low interest rates around the world has fuelled investor appetite for the asset class. Since 2008, global infrastructure capital has grown from $175 billion to $760 billion, according to Callebaut.
In Australia alone, profit-to-member funds have allocations of 10 to 15 per cent compared to a global average of 5 per cent.
“Based on our forecasts, the change to a higher infrastructure allocation has the potential to increase member returns by $350 million over 10 years.”
“While not a panacea for the current environment, infrastructure will play an important role in ensuring our members returns’ are more resilient.”
Callebaut outlined plans to lift the fund’s infrastructure exposure target from 11 per cent to 13 per cent, while at the same time expressing concern about a lack of large prospective projects and problems with the traditional public-private partnership model, specifically — scale, costs, scalability of opportunity and risk allocation.
Cbus is well placed to effectively deploy the increased capital in the competitive market having doubled in size to $50 billion over the past five years benefiting from a stagnation of funds being provided by bank-owned funds.
The super fund manager currently has about 15 per cent of total assets in house, including infrastructure, but that number is expected to double by 2023 according to Callebaut.
Over the last 10 years, the fund has delivered returns on average of 9.39 per cent.
Redeveloping Gold Coast Airport to face the future
In a bid to ensure the longevity of the airport, this Gold Coast Airport expansion will increase capacity and secure the airport’s place in the future of aviation. Carl Bruhn, Queensland Airports Limited Executive General Manager Property and Infrastructure, explains more.
What impact will the terminal expansion have on passenger experience?
Work is now underway on the redevelopment of Gold Coast Airport, which will transform the gateway to the Gold Coast and northern NSW and improve the experience for our passengers. The AU$200 million southern terminal expansion will double the footprint of the existing facility, delivering four aerobridges, additional retail space and new boarding, departure lounge, baggage handling and border-control facilities.
Importantly, the project will address current capacity issues while paving the way for future passenger growth. Currently, about 6.5 million passengers pass through Gold Coast Airport every year, with that figure expected to more than double by 2037.
Construction of a new Rydges-branded hotel – the first hotel on site at Gold Coast Airport – has also begun, which will improve the offer and experience for passengers in the future. The hotel is on track to be delivered by mid-2020, while the new southern terminal is scheduled to open in mid-2021. Once that is complete, the existing terminal will be redeveloped.
What is your favourite feature of the development?
The new terminal will see the provision of four aerobridges, which have long been called for by our passengers and we are excited to deliver. We are also pleased with the innovative use of space in the new terminal, which will allow us to switch between international services – the main operations serviced in the new terminal – and domestic services. This will be done based on demand, using a specially-designed swing gate system.
Have you come up against any challenges?
The number one challenge for us throughout this project has been to ensure the existing terminal is able to operate safely and efficiently during construction. One of our most complex operational challenges has been to ensure our luggage tugs are able to access our existing baggage handling room in the terminal without interruption. This is difficult given the new terminal is being built directly over the entry to the existing baggage handling area. To overcome this, our team has devised a plan to create a tunnelled pathway for the tugs, incorporating a swing-gate system controlled by designated operators, to ensure the separation of the site. This will include everything from lighting, fire detection and ventilation to the security requirements needed to achieve required approvals, while maintaining a safe working environment. The two-way tunnel will be approximately 100m in length once complete and will be incorporated into the design of the new terminal.
How have you made sure the expansion fits within your environmental policy?
Gold Coast Airport’s environmental policy was a key focus during our planning on the Southern Terminal Expansion. This policy is addressed through the implementation of GCA’s Environment Management System. Key components of this system include addressing construction and ongoing impacts on the natural environment and any sustainability considerations. Under this framework, a project-specific Construction and Environment Management Plan was developed to manage these risks. Sustainability considerations also formed a key component of the design, including lighting controls and energy-efficient chillers.
Furthermore, our commitment to sustainability is evidenced by the fact Gold Coast Airport’s parent company, Queensland Airports Limited, recently became one of the first Australian airport groups to secure sustainability-linked bank loan to help fund the terminal expansion. These loans are based on our carbon accreditation and commitment to carbon-emission reduction across all operations at the airport.
What is the best way you have increased capacity at the airport?
As one of Australia’s fastest-growing airports, Gold Coast Airport is faced with an ever-increasing demand for aircraft parking. The airport’s existing apron – constructed in 1979 for since-decommissioned aircraft types – was at risk of becoming inefficient for the busy aviation hub. With passenger numbers growing, a total apron reconfiguration was necessary prior to the start of construction of the new terminal. This project saw aircraft stands reconfigured to a Multiple Aircraft Ramp System (MARS) to create more parking space, and the installation of nearly one kilometre of jet fuel pipeline beneath the active apron.
The Joint User Hydrant Infrastructure (JUHI) expansion project was delivered between June 2017 and November 2018 by Gold Coast Airport and Caltex, with the reconfiguration delivering four additional Code C (narrow body) or three Code E (wide body) aircraft positions, taking the airport’s capacity to 19 parking stands once the terminal expansion is complete. This paves the way for expanded capacity into the future.
In the next few years, more than $550 million is being invested across the Queensland Airports Limited group and Carl Bruhn is leading the team that will deliver the extensive capital program. Bruhn is Queensland Airports Limited Executive General Manager Property and Infrastructure and is responsible for overseeing development activity at Gold Coast, Townsville, Mount Isa and Longreach airports. His team will deliver a large programme of works across the group in coming years, including the $200 million Southern Terminal Expansion and a $50 million airport hotel underway at Gold Coast Airport. An expert in urban development, Bruhn is also a member of the Gold Coast Light Rail Business Advisory Group and a Fellow of the Urban Development Institute of Australia. He spent a number of years with Lendlease as General Manager Town Centres and Senior Project Director on the Varsity Lakes project.
Ardent Sets Out Dreamworld Redevelopment Plans
Dreamworld operator Ardent Leisure plans to redevelop the land adjacent to the Gold Coast theme park in an attempt to reduce the its overall footprint and streamline its offerings.
Ardent, which saw marginal improvement on the prior year net loss of $90.7 million, due largely to a $75 million devaluation it suffered a year earlier, will now develop surplus land at its 57-hectare site at Coomera.
The theme park operator was already open to talking to “potential commercial partners” about future development of the unused near-half portion of its site.
The company, which is close to completing a masterplan for its Gold Coast site, will make land available for commercial development with hotel facilities or a themed-residential area able to serve a new wave of conference and business markets, a practice long used by Disneyland.
Developing surplus land could give Ardent funds to continue its overhaul of the troubled theme park and company, which has struggled to overcome the aftermath of the fatal accident that killed four people on a ride at Dreamworld in October 2016.
“Our plan involves the completion of the site masterplan, showing the footprint for the theme park precinct and surplus land that could then be improved and made available for commercial development with partners,” Ardent said in a statement.
Dreamworld remains committed to its strategy to boost the Gold Coast theme parks sector that has seen attendance fall by fell 11.2 per cent in the 2019 fiscal year to 1.5-million people — equating to $130 million in lost revenue.
The company has also been battling with higher costs across the entire business, including in the safety and repairs and maintenance areas.
The company is planning to inject $50 million into the theme park on Queensland’s Gold Coast to create a new rollercoaster ride and an expanded range of attractions.
“The proposed investment on new rides along with improvements made in 2019 is expected to set Dreamworld on the path to recovery, with the aim of returning to historical pre-incident earnings or better over the next three to five years,” Ardent chairman Gary Weiss said.
The group opened a new $20 million Sky Voyager “flying theatre” ride on Friday and is adding a $30 million 1.2 km-long roller coaster from German company MACK Rides.
Ardent’s road to recovery
Ardent Leisure said that recovery in its theme park business, which includes Dreamworld and WhiteWater World, had been slower than expected, but expects investment in new rides, combined with an uptick in the 2019 financial year, to set the park on the path to recovery.
Ardent, which started life in 1999 as Leisurewide Property Trust and was spun out of parent Macquarie in 2003, now manages sites under two divisions, its Australian Theme Parks and US Main Event Entertainment division of big-box family leisure centres.
The group narrowed its loss for the 2019 year to $60.9 million, an improvement on the $90.7 million loss last year, after a “transitional” year.
The group was also hit by costs associated with Coronial Inquest hearings, non-recurring costs, as well as further impairment charges at the previously impaired US Main Event centres.
It booked a $79.6 million non-cash valuation loss and impairment charges in its theme parks business last year, which included a valuation loss on Dreamworld of $75 million.
An increase in revenue from continuing operations lifted the company to EBITDA earnings of $11.7 million from a loss of $54 million in 2018.
The company said there would be no dividend and expects to return to profitability in fiscal year 2020.
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