Consistently ranked in the top ten for liveability surveys, Adelaide is a favoured destination for investment property, both in Australia and within South Australia itself. Recent private development projects and government initiatives have further raised its profile as an investment destination to watch. Most recently, draft masterplans have been released for Rundle Mall and the riverbank precinct.
Rundle Mall Development
Rundle Mall is the most visited site in Adelaide with 24 million visitors every year. Long considered to be the premiere retail area in South Australia, the Mall is currently undergoing development for a multi-storey $385 million retail complex named ‘Rundle Place’.
Additionally, Adelaide City Council has released a draft masterplan for revitalising the entire mall. In November 2011, the Council opted to more than double its budget for the Rundle Mall masterplan from $15 million to $40 million over a period of three years. Around $30 million would be financed by the Council, with the remaining $10 million to come from the South Australia’s State Government and the private sector.
The draft masterplan emphasises improves to infrastructure, creating more retail and entertainment spaces, and enhancing the strip’s visual features. The plan incorporates new rooftop cinemas, public art, redevelopment of laneways, and rooftop and balcony bars.
The plan also includes suggestions for bringing a variety of new retailers to the strip, entertainment options, public transport improvements, and adding performance spaces.
Riverbank Revitalisation Plans
The government is similarly committed to overseeing the redevelopment of the riverbank precinct. The new draft masterplan, released in late September, includes plans for a footbridge from the railway station to the Adelaide Oval, a new Torrens Lake, a new Elder Park, and an all-new plaza area at the Festival Centre to replace the existing Hajek Plaza.
The changes are aimed turning this core area of Adelaide’s CBD into a civic, retail, entertainment, and recreational hub. The site will also include new multi-storey commercial buildings, new retail and dining outlets, and a new River West area between the Convention Centre and the Festival Centre.
The plan envisages a floating stage, open air cinemas, and a picnic are and playground for Elder Park. The draft masterplan also hints at creating spaces for night markets and outdoor festivals, and for the Festival Centre area to be used as a meeting place. The footbridge (the River Crossing) is expected to feature as a landmark.
The plan suggests that the revitalised riverbank area will include riverside dining opportunities, riverside views, and a riverside boardwalk. The natural features of the riverbank area won’t be ignored, however: the plans will make use of the natural riverbank for a parkland experience to bring a mix of the urban and the natural to the locale.
The Riverbank plans, together with the Rundle Mall projects, are expected to have significant flow-on effects for businesses and investors, including significant benefits for property investment.
Other Related Reforms
Premier Jay Wetherill has announced that the South Australian government will undertake reforms to enhance the effect of Adelaide’s many revitalisation plans. These include plans to allow public holiday trading in the city, licensing laws, food regulations, and streamlining the regulatory and approval process for new businesses in the CBD.