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Vacancy Rates Reflect Shift From Cities to Regions

vacancy rates
vacancy rates

Major improvements have been made on national vacancy rates, with levels tightened to below or close to pre-Covid-19 rates across most capital cities in Australia.

The residential vacancy rate dropped from 2.2 per cent to 2 per cent compared to August 2019 and 2.1 per cent in July, according to the latest report by SQM Research.

Perth, Brisbane and Darwin made the biggest improvements compared to last year, while Sydney and Hobart were slightly worse-off.

Melbourne was the outlier, which again recorded an increase from 3.1 per cent in July to 3.4 per cent, this was up from a 2 per cent vacancy rate in 2019.

Residential vacancy rate

CityAugust 2020August 2020July 2020August 2019


The SQM Research also shows most regional locations have recorded falls in vacancy rates, with Sydney’s Blue Mountains and Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula dropping to 0.7 per cent, while just outside Brisbane, in Ipswich, rates fell to 0.9 per cent.

Asking rents levels painted a different picture: despite being up nationally for houses at 4.5 per cent and units 1.4 per cent compared to 2019, across capital cities houses rent prices were down 2.8 per cent for houses and down 5.5 per cent for units.

The worst-affected cities were Sydney, down 8 per cent on last year, Melbourne down 1 per cent for houses and 6 per cent for units, and Brisbane was marginally down 0.4 per cent for houses and 0.2 per cent for units.

Rents were up for both houses and units in Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, and houses only in Darwin compared to last year.

SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said population shifts were a driving force in this data.

“The shift towards regional living continues at pace, largely at the expense of higher inner-city rental vacancy rates, I suspect there will have to be a high point in this move soon.

“However, I also suspect there will be a degree of permanency with the massive population shift,” Christopher said.

“Meanwhile, Sydney and Melbourne rents continue to fall providing leasing opportunities for tenants who have chosen to stay in town.”

International arrivals impact Sydney, Melbourne

Immigration has also had an impact on vacancy rates with the low levels of arrivals and returning residents recorded in the Australian Bureau of Statistics August data.

Arrivals dropped in August down 15.5 per cent on July and down 99.1 per cent on 2019.

According to ABS visa group data there were 2,670 people arriving on permanent visas and 2,880 on temporary visas last month compared to 119,990 permanent visas and 680,190 temporary visitors in August last year.

Charter Keck Cramer national director of research and strategy Rob Burgess said overseas migration has fallen off a cliff, impacting the residential market.

“In the last nine or 10 years of course NSW and Victoria—Sydney and Melbourne—have been the main beneficiaries of overseas migration,” Burgess said at The Urban Developer’s The Housing Demand Dilemma webinar.

“This translates directly into the demand for residential dwellings moving forward, and will fundamentally impact the demand and supply equation for the national residential market.

“It’s almost a halving of dwelling demand otherwise required in Sydney and Melbourne [in the next five years].

“Interestingly, Brisbane is far less impacted and clearly that’s a reflection of the fact that the housing market is much less reliant and dependent on overseas migration, including international students.”

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Logan City Builds on ‘Family Magnet’ Study Findings

Logan City Builds on ‘Family Magnet’ Study Findings

Logan could grow by an additional 56,000 dwellings in the next 15 years, with more than $18 billion in government-funded infrastructure projects planned for the city.

The City of Logan has launched its Housing Study, the first step in a three-stage strategy for the south-east Queensland district, located between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

A number of factors are driving residential development potential, including declared priority development areas at Yarrabilla—a 2,200-hectare site—and a 7,188-hectare Greater Flagstone site, part of which Peet Limited was given approval to develop last year.

Meanwhile, in the surrounding area, Golden Gate Property has kicked off a $130 million residential project; CFMG Capital has acquired a large development site and a $460 million Logan Hospital revamp is also on the cards.

The entire Logan City Council was sacked last year over fraud and corruption allegations.

The new housing study provides the new council with options for higher-density development around transport corridors.

Since 2010, annual residential dwelling approvals have increased by 77 per cent, nearing 4000.

The City of Logan is now home to more than 334,358 residents with a growth rate of 1.9 per cent; by 2041 as many as 586,000 people are expected to live in the city.

Potential for residential development in Logan by 2036

Potential for residential development in Logan by 2036

^ Source: City of Logan Housing Study 2020

The study found that affordable choices for housing and high availability have attracted families to the area from other parts of Queensland and as far afield as New Zealand.

Other findings include the fact that nearly a quarter of residents—23 per cent—are 14 years or younger, with a further 12 per cent of the population in the 15 to 24 age bracket, 63 per cent of whom are still living at home.

The median weekly rent for a three-bedroom house is $350 and the majority of families live in stand-alone homes with double garages.

City of Logan mayor Darren Power said the results of the study allow council to set a strategic vision that meets the expectations of the community as they look towards their 2025 planning scheme.

“Families are flocking to our booming new residential developments, our established suburbs are being re-energised and we have also seen growth in the traditional Logan rural-residential lifestyle,” Power said.

“The contents of this study will now help shape our housing strategy to establish best-practice policy options for future housing and residential development across the city.”

Stage 2 of the housing strategy will involve detailed investigations on planning issues including managing development in established areas, examining lot sizes and dwelling areas as well as identifying locations for new residential growth.

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‘Flicked a switch’: Buyers bid big at South East Queensland auctions

Flicked a switch Buyers bid big at South East Queensland auctions

A four-bedroom home in Mermaid Waters garnered so much interest that buyers from Denmark, Saudi Arabia and the United States inspected the property on FaceTime.

But it was a Queensland buyer who snapped up the waterfront home at 20 Tequila Court for $1.71 million.

20 Tequila Court, Mermaid Waters QLD 4218

20 Tequila Court, Mermaid Waters QLD 4218

4Beds 2Baths 5Parking

It was the first time the home, on the Gold Coast close to Broadbeach, had been offered for sale since being built 36 years ago.

Ray White Mermaid Beach co-principal Conner Malan said the buyer, a woman from Toowoomba, was one of 14 registered bidders on the day.

“She used an advocate, who was very flamboyant,” Mr Malan said. “He was bidding in eights trying to convince the other bidders he was bidding for a Chinese buyer.”

The winning bidder would now be calling the property her forever home, and was planning on some renovations, he said.

The property was one of almost 50 auctions held at the weekend across South East Queensland.

Brisbane’s preliminary auction clearance rate sat at 52 per cent, after 46 auctions were scheduled and 25 results reported. Five properties were withdrawn from auction on Saturday.

In Brisbane’s western suburbs, 23 buyers registered to bid on a very popular property.

The property, at 7 Salisbury Street, Indooroopilly, had a four-bedroom removable home on a double block of land, which many buyers were interested in.

7 Salisbury Street, Indooroopilly QLD 4068

7 Salisbury Street, Indooroopilly QLD 4068

4Beds 2Baths 2Parking

The home was snapped up by a developer/investor for $1,191,000 after an action-packed auction.

Doug Disher Real Estate director Doug Disher said bidding opened at $1 million, setting the scene for other buyers.

“There were some people there because they wanted to be close to schools,” Mr Disher said.

So many people turned up for the auction that some had to be asked to move onto the street or a safe distance away to allow for COVID-19 social distancing.

The vendor, who lives overseas, watched the action unfold through a live stream, Mr Disher said.

“They were selling because the home was surplus to their needs,” he said. “[They] were delighted with the result.”

In Bulimba, in Brisbane’s north-east, a four-bedroom Queenslander on a low-maintenance block at 7 Birkalla Street sold under the hammer for $1,452,500.

7 Birkalla Street, Bulimba QLD 4171

7 Birkalla Street, Bulimba QLD 4171

4Beds 3Baths 2Parking

Ray White Bulimba’s Jonathan Peck said the vendors, who had owned the property for 10 years, undertook a full renovation four years ago.

“They’re delighted to be able to move onto their next chapter,” Mr Peck said.

Eight buyers registered to bid on the property that had been inspected by more than 60 people in the past four weeks, Mr Peck said.

“The Brisbane property market continues to be red hot and Bulimba has now been on an upward trajectory for some time – it’s great to see so many buyers out and about,” he said.

Another fully renovated Queenslander at 19 Gordon Street, Hendra, sold under the hammer on Saturday, for $1,058,000.

19 Gordon Street, Hendra QLD 4011

19 Gordon Street, Hendra QLD 4011

4Beds 2Baths 2Parking
The four-bedroom home, also in Brisbane’s north-east, attracted four registered bidders, who fought it out for the keys.

Ray White Metro North’s Jon Finney said in the end it came down to two bidders, both young professionals, wanting to buy the home, which included large, decked outdoor entertaining areas.

“The winning bidder had missed out on three previous properties so they were determined to buy it with a capital D,” Mr Finney said.

The vendors, meanwhile, offloaded the home to make a full-time move to the Sunshine Coast, he said. Such sales showed how strong Brisbane’s auction market had become in the latter part of 2020.

“The confidence is here as strongly as it was lacking last year,” Mr Finney said. “There’s been a massive turnaround – it’s like a massive light switch has been flicked on.”

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Brisbane’s Top 20 Major Development Projects

Brisbane’s Top 20 Major Development Projects

Brisbane is preparing to add a spate of new major development projects to its ever-changing skyline.

Australia’s third-largest city recently welcomed the completion of the $1.1 billion second runway at the Brisbane International Airport and has been boosted by a now-$50 billion infrastructure and transport pipeline. The city is also lining up an Olympic bid.

While Brisbane’s infrastructure backlog has finally started to move, the Queensland capital is still coming to terms with a stagnant apartment market.

The city’s resources-dependent economy has been thriving in recent years with rental growth across the commercial sector growling steadily within the A-grade asset class.

Despite the increase in new supply over the half-year period, Brisbane is still in for a lean period of new office buildings.

Sizeable residential masterplans and commercial precincts have added to the city’s burgeoning development pipeline, with strong population growth prior to Covid-19 unlocking development opportunities.

From the city-shaping cross river rail, to a new multi-billion-dollar casino as well as a number of high-profile high-rise commercial, hotel and residential projects, the city is primed for major development projects and growth.

Waterfront Place


Property giant Dexus is pushing ahead with plans for a $2.1 billion transformation of Eagle Street Pier and its Waterfront Place commercial precinct in Brisbane’s CBD.

The country’s biggest office landlord lodged plans in June for its 9,000sq m riverfront site which includes two new commercial towers, riverfront dining, public plazas, extended riverwalk and ferry terminal.

If realised, the existing Eagle Street Pier building will make way for two towers, the 75,300sq m north tower reaching 49-storeys and the 43-storey south tower comprising 60,000sq m of office space, sitting above 4-levels of underground car parking.

Another key feature will be the widened and upgraded Riverwalk for pedestrians and cyclists.

If approved, Dexus plans to commence construction on the Eagle Pier site in 2022 with the first stage to be delivered by 2026.

Key facts:

• Dexus plans for the riverfront promenade to be closed between 2022 to 2024
• The project will create more than 1,000 construction jobs during the next decade, with an additional circa 900 operational support jobs once completed.

205 North Quay


Super fund developer Cbus Property, in conjunction with its local partners Nielson Properties and the Raniga family, is moving ahead with plans for a $600 million office tower in Brisbane’s fast-growing North Quarter precinct.

The development, a 37-storey A-grade office tower, is slated for a 3000sq m riverfront corner site, created from the amalgamation of properties at 205 North Quay and 30 Herschel Street.

The development will be known as 205 North Quay and, if approved, will add 50,000sq m of net lettable area to the Brisbane CBD office market in the fast-growing North Quarter precinct.

Key facts:

• Designed by Hassell, New York-based REX and Brisbane’s Richards & Spence
• Proposal features a whole-floor wellness facility, 25-metre lap pool, childcare facilities, a public realm auditorium, outdoor terraces on every level plus rooftop facilities
• Targeting 6 Green Star and 5.5 Star NABERS Energy ratings

Griffith University

Griffith University Roma Street

Griffith University is moving forward with $1 billion plans to leave Mount Gravatt Campus, lodging a development application in September to create a new vertical campus at Roma Street Station.

New and existing students will be welcomed at the new 55-storey tower in Brisbane’s CBD as well as the growing Logan campus.

The ground floor of the building includes a public auditorium to be used for presentations on scientific developments, debates and community services.

Key facts:

• The uni plans to take up 15 of the 55 floors
• Will help accommodate 4,000 students transitioning from Griffith’s Nathan Campus
• Will act as a hub for the uni’s IT, business and law schools and student accommodation

60 Queen Street

60 Queen Street Brisbane major development project Charter Hall

Fund manager Charter Hall has a major Brisbane development in the works, lodging plans for a 35-storey office tower in August.

The project is slated for a 1,850sq m corner site at the top of the CBD’s Queen Street Mall, created from the amalgamation of three properties at 217 George Street, 231 George Street and 60 Queen Street, ranging from three to eight storeys in height.

The development will be known as 60 Queen Street and, if approved, will add 29,000sq m of net lettable area to the Brisbane CBD office market.

Key facts:

• Charter Hall purchased the site for $94 million mid-2018
• Proposal designed by Brisbane-based architecture firm Blight Rayner
• The development is targeting 6 Green Star and 5.5 Star Nabers energy ratings.

251 Wickham Street


Brisbane-based developer Cornerstone has plans in front of council for a major commercial project in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.

The proposal, for a high-rise commercial tower alongside the landmark McWhirters building, calls for a 28-storey development spanning 14,500sq m of net lettable area.

The development is slated for a 1,357sq m site running between 251 to 253 Wickham Street, together with part of 47 Warner Street, currently occupied by a derelict and dilapidated former building.

Plans feature meeting and recreation spaces on levels 15 and 27, a gym with lap pool, sky terraces and balconies.

The building will offer 55 car parking spaces across three basement levels as well as 108 bicycle spaces and end of trip facilities.

Key facts:

• Designed by Brisbane-based firm Bureau Proberts
• The site currently holds approval for an 11-storey proposal.

Cross River Rail

Cross River Rail Brisbane Major Project

Construction on Queensland’s biggest infrastructure project, the fully funded $5.4 billion Cross River Rail being built by a consortia of several government agencies and the private sector, is well under way.

The major project will comprise a 10.2 kilometre rail line which will run from Dutton Park in Brisbane’s southern suburbs to Bowen Hills in the city’s north, with a 5.9 kilometre-tunnel under the CBD.

The development will see the delivery of four underground stations at Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street and Roma Street, as well as eight upgraded stations across Brisbane’s fringes and three new Gold Coast stations at Pimpama, Helensvale North and Merrimac.

The Pulse consortium—a partnership led by CIMIC Group companies, Pacific Partnerships, CPB Contractors, and UGL with international partners DIF, BAM and Ghella—is set to deliver the tunnels, stations and above-ground development.

Key facts:

• Early works for the project began in August 2017
• At peak, the Cross River Rail will create 7,700 construction jobs
• First trains are expected to be running in 2024.

Queens Wharf

Queens Wharf Brisbane major development project

Brisbane’s $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf development—which has taken more than a significant footprint of the CBD—has moved ahead with construction, and is now well under way.

Destination Brisbane Consortium—which includes the Star Group, developers Far East Consortium and Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook—is responsible for the integrated resort, after being selected by the Queensland Government to transform the riverfront site.

The project, the largest private sector development in Queensland, is spread over 12 hectares of land and 15.3 hectares of water and will eventually comprise a total gross floor area of 390,000 square metres.

The precinct, being delivered by builder Multiplex, is located between William and George streets and will offer four new luxury hotels, 2,000 residential apartments and a casino.

The development, earmarked for completion by late 2022, has also earned a 6-Star Green Star Communities rating.

Key facts:

• Designed by Cottee Parker
• Will offer 50 bars and restaurants and a 24-hour, 100m-high ‘sky deck’
• The total project covers an area equivalent to almost 20 percent of the city centre.

360 Queen Street

360 Queen Street Charter Hall major development project

Charter Hall and Investa Commercial Property Fund’s $650 million Queen Street tower is quickly taking shape.

Development plans for the $650 million building consisting of 50,000sq m of office space, a retail component and childcare centre were approved in 2018.

Sitting in Brisbane’s Golden Triangle in Queen Street, three existing buildings including Mineralogy House will be demolished to make way for the new 41-level tower.

Key facts:

• The joint venture acquired the 2,147sq m site in June 2017 for $53.75 million
• Designed by Brisbane-based architecture firm Blight Rayner
• The building is targeting a 5-Star Green Star design and As Built rating, 5 Star NABERS Energy Base Building rating and WELL Core and Shell Gold Certification.

117 Victoria Street


Sydney-based developer Crown Group has rebooted plans for its controversial $460 million residential development in Brisbane’s West End.

Crown Group originally submitted an application in January 2018, soon after picking up the 1.25-hectare site—the former home of Computershare—at 117 Victoria Street for $35 million.

The application, comprising four 12-storey buildings, originally called for 463 dwellings, a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, as well as terraces and four-bedroom penthouses, across a common podium adjacent to the Brisbane river.

Crown Group is now planning to provide for larger apartments with a greater project gross floor area in response to market conditions, and aims to take its amended application to council later this year.

Key facts:

• Original proposal designed by FJMT
• Amenities include a 25-metre pool, cabana and poolside lounges, barbecue facilities, a gym and 4,200sq m of communal open space.

RNA Showgrounds

Major development projects Brisbane RNA Showgrounds Lendlease

Lendlease’s $2.9 billion redevelopment of the 22-hectare RNA Show Grounds in Bowen Hills is a vast mixed-use development comprising residential, commercial office and retail.

The urban renewal development has been under way since 2010 and work is set to continue through to 2025.

The project includes 340,000sq m of new residential, commercial and retail buildings, together with an additional 76,000sq m of new development on RNA retained land.

Since construction commenced in 2011, Lendlease has delivered 30,000sq m of office space—including 25 King Street, Australia’s largest timber tower—700 residential units and 3,000sq m of retail, equating to 21 per cent of the completed masterplan.

Once complete, Lendlease anticipates that more than 15,000 people will live, work and play each day at the Brisbane Showgrounds.

Key facts:

• The development has also seen the delivery of the Royal International Exhibition Centre, a state-of-the-art convention and meeting facility for hosting events and festivals
• Upwards of 60,000sq m of office space, an additional 2,300 units and 7,000sq m remains to be built.

Albion Exchange

Brisbane's 0m Albion Exchange major development project

Geon Property will soon break ground on the first stage of its $750 million Albion Exchange project in Brisbane’s inner north, after winning approval for the two-tower mixed-use development earlier this year.

The transit-oriented development, which will be delivered over 15 years, will revitalise a 4,900sq m state government-owned development site running adjacent to the existing Albion train station.

Stage one of the Albion Exchange masterplan also includes a $28.7 million upgrade of transport facilities and access to the Albion Train Station.

Key facts:

• Designed by Hames Sharley
• The four hectare state-owned site is bordered by Mawarra Street, Albion and Hudson Roads.

Brisbane Live

Major development projects Brisbane - Brisbane Live

The $2 billion Brisbane Live arena, a 17,000-seat entertainment venue pegged for Brisbane’s CBD, has been touted since 2007.

The 65,000sq m arena, now part of the wider Roma Street Cross River Rail precinct, is still shrouded in uncertainty, with state government recently tapping the private-sector for investment.

If realised, the open-air precinct, likened to Melbourne’s Federation Square, would be built above the existing Roma Street rail lines under the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority in partnership with AEG Ogden’s Harvey Lister.

The entertainment centre, serviced by underground rail and busway infrastructure, would have outward-facing retail opportunities on the Roma Street frontage as well as a “Sky Lounge” operating as a function space during non-event times.

The demolition of the original Brisbane Transit Centre on site moved ahead earlier this year with the first of three buildings taken apart level by level to make way for the new Cross River Rail Roma Street station.

Key facts:

• The arena would have outward-facing retail opportunities on the Roma Street frontage
• A ‘sky lounge’ will operate as a function space during non-event times.

443 Queen Street

443 Queen Street major development project Brisbane

Cbus Property’s 47-storey apartment building at 443 Queen Street is rapidly taking shape.

The $375 million residential tower, consisting of 264 apartments, will include a private dining room, catering kitchen, outdoor lounge cabanas, a gymnasium and 25m pool perched on the river’s edge.

The building was recently awarded a 6 Star Green Star design rating by the Green Building Council of Australia, the first residential building in Australia to be recognised with this rating.

Originally scheduled for completion this year, the building won’t be finished until at least August 2021.

Key facts:

• Designed by Singapore-based WOHA and Brisbane-based Architectus
• Construction is being overseen by Probuild
• The building includes a boardwalk level restaurant
• Cbus Property acquired the site for $49 million in 2014.

Victoria Park

Victoria Park masterplan Brisbane

masterplan for the transformation of Victoria Park golf course into a 45-hectare public parkland in Brisbane’s inner north is moving forward.

The masterplan includes a 1.4-hectare lake, boardwalks and trails, a high-ropes course, children’s water park, skate park and tennis courts.

A cultural hub with indigenous art, a community garden and urban farm is also slated for the 45-hectare park.

While costs to convert the 18-hole golf course are yet to be released, the existing park—located two kilometres from the CBD—will start the transition into a parkland in 2021.

Key facts:

• The draft vision was released in January 2020
• The park would be double the size of the City Botanical Gardens.

Brisbane Quarter

The One Brisbane Quarter major development projects

Taiwanese-backed Shayher Group officially launched its $1 billion precinct, known as Brisbane Quarter, at 300 George Street in the city’s CBD in 2016.

The major development encompasses a complete city block along the Brisbane river and features three towers, including Australia’s first purpose-built W Hotel.

The One, an 82-storey residential tower being delivered by Multiplex, comprises 467 apartments and is set to become Brisbane’s second tallest building when completed early next year.

The precinct also includes two levels of riverside dinning and high-end retail across a shared podium beneath all three towers.

Key facts:

• The first of the three towers, The 32-storey W Hotel, marked Brisbane’s first five star hotel in 20 Years, and was completed in late 2018
• The precinct’s recently completed second tower, 300 George Street, comprises 58,000sq m of net lettable area and floorplates of 1,400 square metres.

80 Ann Street

80 Ann Street Major development project Brisbane

Listed developer Mirvac last year broke ground on its $836 million 80 Ann Street Brisbane CBD tower.

Mirvac acquired the 5,500sq m site between Turbot and Ann Streets adjacent to Brisbane City Hall from Singaporean group Wee Hur for $79 million in late 2017.

The commercial project, spanning an entire block, will reach 35-storeys and offer 60,000sq m of net lettable area across some of Brisbane CBD’s largest floor plates at 2,200 square metres.

Financial services giant Suncorp will anchor the tower, taking 66 per cent of the total space.

Along with the 10-year pre-commitment from Suncorp, Mirvac has also closed a deal to build the tower with M&G Real Estate, which will own a half stake for $418 million, reflecting a yield of 5 per cent.

Key facts:

• Designed by Woods Bagot
• The project, scheduled for completion in 2022, is targeting 6 Star Green Star, 5 Star NABERS Energy and Gold Shell and Core WELL ratings

Greater Springfield

Greater Springfield masterplan development Brisbane

Billionaire developer Maha Sinnathamby is pressing forward with plans for a $88 billion residential and commercial masterplan in Springfield, near Brisbane.

Planning approval for 2,685,600sq m of mixed-use development is in place, making Springfield Australia’s largest masterplanned city.

The masterplan, located about 26 kilometres south of Brisbane, is projected to be home to 140,000 people and 50,000 jobs by 2030.

Earlier this year, Sinnathamby appointed investment bank Moelis Australia to find a partner with deep pockets to help complete the masterplanned city.

Key facts:

• About 25 per cent of Springfield’s development has been completed so far
• At least $18 billion has already been invested, with a further $70 billion needed to fully realise the masterplan.

West Village

West Village West End Brisbane major development project

Japanese developer Sekisui House has broken ground on the third stage of its West Village project in Brisbane’s West End, featuring the heritage-listed former Peters Ice Cream factory as its centrepiece.

The $800 million mixed-use precinct, which is the company’s first inner-city masterplanned project in Queensland, is broken up into three stages and includes seven residential buildings.

Upon completion, West Village, will have up to 1,200 apartments, townhouses and heritage residences, two commercial buildings, just under one hectare of open space, a playground, a Woolworths supermarket, carparks, a gym, theatre precinct, medical precinct and 35 retailers.

Key facts:

• Plans for residential masterplan were first lodged in April 2015
• The development spans the 2.6-hectare former Absoe site
• Construction being overseen by Hutchinson Builders
• The project is scheduled for completion in 2023.

Brisbane Metro

Major development projects Brisbane Metro

The Brisbane City Council’s “congestion-busting” Brisbane Metro project will see the delivery of a new transport system along 21 kilometres of existing busway between the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital and Eight Mile Plains.

The transport project was initially proposed as a subway line to supersede the Northern and Southern Busways, taking hundreds of the council’s yellow-and-blue buses off the road and replacing them with 24 metre long electric bi-articulated buses capable of carrying up to 150 people.

A new underground station will be built at the Cultural Centre in South Brisbane as well as new busway tunnel underneath Adelaide Street in the CBD connecting to the Central Busway near King George Square underground station.

The project, which will be split into two parts and include 18 stations and 11 interchanges, was recently approved by the Queensland government with preliminary site works now occurring with services expected to start running by the end of 2023.

Key facts:

• The project was originally proposed during the 2016 council election
• Brisbane Council has committed $644 million to the major transport development while the federal government has chipped in $300 million.

Brisbane Cruise Terminal

Brisbane Cruise Terminal major development project

Construction of Brisbane’s first cruise ship terminal is closing in on completion.

At peak operation, the terminal is expected to handle over 1,100 vessels and at 1.8 million passengers within its first five years.

The new terminal will accommodate some of the biggest cruise ships in the world, including Royal Caribbean International’s 293m-long “Radiance of the Seas”.

Key facts:

• Construction is being overseen by Hindmarsh
• Expected to support 3,750 jobs
• Anticipated to welcome more than 760,000 visitors annually (pre-Covid figures)
• Estimated injection of $1.3 billion in net expenditure into the Brisbane economy.

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