This week marks the official ground breaking of the Sunshine Coast’s new CBD in Maroochydore, with construction kicking off on the first of the planned buildings. A master-planned project by SunCentral, the first building will be the $30 million Foundation Place, by local developer Evans Long. This privately owned eight-level building is expected to be complete by mid next year and will feature office space as well as retail tenancies. Forming the core of the new business centre, this groundbreaking building marks an exciting milestone of the development process.
The Maroochydore City Centre will be a major factor in the evolution of South-East Queensland. Beneath the waves and laid-back lifestyle, the Sunshine State’s largest urban renewal project is underway. While the 53-hectare site in Maroochydore doesn’t look like much as early earthworks begin, this project is destined to be a game changer. On completion, ‘The Bright City’, as it’s been dubbed, will be a sprawling hub of commerce, technology, innovation, entertainment and inner-city living.
The area is Australia’s 10th largest population centre, which is expected to grow more than 470,000 by within the next 20 years. SunCentral is really looking to the future with the Maroochydore City Centre development, spurring on a rapidly developing region into a $33 billion economy that’s based on much more than tourism. This new city centre will increase that economic value exponentially thanks to prime commercial office space, exclusive retail, public plazas, new waterways, parks and community facilities that will form part of The Bright City. Along with this, you can expect a wide array of dining and entertainment options, a new hotel as well as convention and exhibition facilities that are expected to draw even more tourists to the area. In the residential sector, the CBD will also contain several new apartment developments, as well as inspiring several other large-scale developments just on the border of the CBD. The Bright City joins more than $2.5 billion in major infrastructure projects planned for the Sunshine Coast region with $8.5 million in private investment that’s either already underway or in the pipeline.
The Sunshine Coast International Broadband Network is a big part of this drive for infrastructure that will accompany the new city centre. Currently, 99% of data travels via submarine cables and this new network will offer Australia’s second east coast landing station location — the other being Sydney. This broadband network will offer Australia’s fastest connection to Asia, increasing the competitiveness of not just the Sunshine Coast, but Queensland as a whole when it comes to internet speeds. This technological infrastructure alone is expected to stimulate $927-million worth of new investment in the area.
To make the most of it, this will be paired with a high-speed fibre optic network which will be integrated into the underground structure of the entire city centre, providing free Wi-Fi through public areas and smart signs and apps which will provide real-time traffic updates and even tell drivers where the closest available carpark is. Technological infrastructure like this will also contribute to the way the city is run as a whole, creating a cleaner and more environmentally conscious city.
The Maroochydore City Centre will be home to Australia’s first underground automated waste collection system. Say farewell to wheelie bins forever. One of the most interesting and innovative aspects of the new city centre is the 6.5-kilometre system of underground vacuum pipes that will transport waste at up to 70 kilometres per hour from commercial building and apartments to a central storage facility. Each building will be fitted with both waste and recycling inlets, taking city-wide waste management completely underground, similar to systems in place in Stockholm, London and Singapore.
Along with commercial and technological expansion, brand new transport links will play a key part in the transformation. A $347 million expansion of the Sunshine Coast Airport is already underway, with a new runway expected to be open by 2020. The city will also deliver an extensive public bus network, and there are also plans for light rail into the city for the future. This would connect Caloundra, Kawana, Mooloolaba and Alexandra Headland to the Maroochydore City Centre, and early-stage plans are in place which aims for delivery of this light rail system by 2025.
The flow-on effects of the Maroochydore City Centre have already been seen in the surrounding area, with a large solar farm and the Sunshine Coast University Hospital both being complete in 2017. Sunshine Plaza, the largest retail centre in the area, is also scheduled for an upgrade. Construction on this $400-million expansion has already commenced. The project was initiated after Maroochydore was declared a Priority Development Area by the Queensland Government and Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, who stands firmly in support of the project.
“Maroochydore’s new city centre will cement the Sunshine Coast as one of Queensland’s, and Australia’s, best-performing regional economies,” she said.
While any new development of this size taking place in a previously quite quiet region is bound to ruffle some feathers, the transition for Sunshine Coast locals has been relatively seamless. The future is calling, and Maroochydore is picking up