Maroochydore City Centre’s shovel ready CBD redevelopment is set for acceleration under a new agreement with one of Australia’s leading property groups.
Walker Corporation’s landmark agreement with Sunshine Coast Council and SunCentral Maroochydore Pty Ltd (established to oversee the development) will see Walker Corporation invest $2.5 billion into the project.
The CBD redevelopment will deliver about 160,000 square metres of commercial and retail space and 4,000 residential apartments over the next 15 to 20 years.
“This is a once-in-a-generation transformational project for one of the fastest growing areas in the country,” Walker Corporation Executive Chairman Lang Walker said.
“Maroochydore City Centre is Australia’s largest greenfield CBD development and we look forward to delivering on Council’s vision for the project.
“Our capital cities will continue to be the economic powerhouse of our country, but our regional CBDs will be where much of the future growth happens.
“Being brave and giving the economy a reboot right now – especially in regional CBDs – is what we need to shift the needle and drive economic growth.
“Maroochydore City Centre is going to transform the region into one of the most advanced economies in Australia.
“The City Centre will be supported by other major infrastructure projects, including the airport expansion, international submarine broadband cable network and public transport infrastructure.
“These investments in Maroochydore will create jobs into the future and give people an option to work closer to their homes.
“When the project is finished it will be one of the most commercially competitive regional cities in Australia.
“We need to come out of these unchartered waters with a stronger economy and stronger cities – cities like Maroochydore will do a lot of this heavy lifting.”
Walker Corporation’s investment in the 53-hectare city centre, which is a Queensland Government designated Priority Development Area, will commence immediately, with the project expected to create more than 15,000 over the life of the project.
The Sunshine Coast is one of Australia’s fastest-developing economies, growing each year at rates well above national averages, and is expected to expand from $17 billion to $33 billion by 2033.
The Sunshine Coast population is also set to overtake the NSW Central Coast to become Australia’s ninth largest urban area and is projected to grow larger than the current populations of Canberra and Newcastle.
Mr Walker said he was excited to work with a Council that had such a bold vision and were determined to create more opportunities for their communities.
“The Council’s vision for the City Centre was such an important catalyst for this project,” he said.
“The Council recognised the need to think big and plan for the future and they have done a huge amount of work to get the project shovel ready.
“I am thrilled we are able to contribute by bringing 50 years of place-making excellence to the project.”
Under the development agreement, Walker Corporation has exclusive rights to market and develop most of the remaining land consistent with the delivery of the city centre vision.
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said this was a historic agreement for the region.
“Walker Corporation has a strong record in delivering projects with local and state governments,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“They bring to the project significant resources, capital and long-term partnerships with major blue-chip companies.
“The Maroochydore City Centre will be instrumental in building and strengthening the region, providing a mix of residential, commercial, retail, civic and community uses to develop a thriving and vibrant business district and City Centre.
“The new CBD will also provide a boost to Maroochydore’s existing business by strengthening our regional economy.
“This agreement ensures that the vision for Maroochydore City Centre is delivered and it will be a catalyst to bring forward the benefits of job opportunities for our residents.”
The project is planned to be integrated with public transport networks that will provide connections to the upgraded Sunshine Coast Airport and wider South East Queensland region.
SunCentral Chairman Dr Doug McTaggart said he was pleased to have such an experienced Australian-owned commercial developer and building owner such as Walker Corporation working on the project.
“Following the rigorous assessment and review of the Expressions of Interest submissions, it was clear that Walker Corporation had the requisite capabilities to work with Council and SunCentral on the delivery of the Maroochydore City Centre project,” Dr McTaggart said.
“To secure a large Tier One development firm with broad capabilities and a very strong balance sheet, along with experience working in conjunction with all levels of government, is a great benefit for the Sunshine Coast region.”
The Queensland Government declared the site a Priority Development Area in 2013, which provides a streamlined planning, approval and development process under the State’s Economic Development Act 2012.