Queensland has more than bounced back from the 2010/2011 floods, with Brisbane set for a period of intense urban renewal and development. Over the coming years, the Sunshine State’s capital city will see a series of major projects ranging from infrastructure to commercial and residential development. These projects will provide attractive opportunities for property investment, particularly in ‘up-and-coming’ suburbs such as Bowen Hills.
A Quick Look at Brisbane’s Unit Market
Brisbane’s unit property market is robust, with a strong spring season projected for apartments.
- 15 per cent rise in preliminary sales;
- Median apartment sale prices in the inner city increased by 1.3 per cent in the year to June 2011; and
- Around 1,400 transactions on new apartments in inner Brisbane in the March 2011 quarter.
1. Major Urban Renewal Projects
Work has already begun on the redevelopment of Brisbane’s RNA showgrounds in the city’s inner-north, on a five and a half hectare tract of land covering the old showgrounds and the inner-city suburb of Bowen Hill. Touted as the most significant urban renewal project since South Bank after Expo 88, the residential, commercial, and retail component of the overall project is known as ‘Showground Hill’. Showground Hill will house 3,000 people and provide commercial spaces for 15,000 workers.
Showground Hill will become a major retail, business, and residential hub. According to Premier Anna Bligh, the $2.9 billion project will generate $4 billion in economic growth and create more than 15,000 jobs over the next 13 years.
Showground Hill at a glance:
- 2,000 apartments
- 145,000sqm of commercial office space
- 20,000sqm of retail space, including a hotel, supermarkets, and a fresh food market
- Upgrades to the 130-year-old stormwater system
- The first residential stage of the project, ‘The Green’, will have a block of 300 apartments set to become the city’s first 4 Star Green Star residential complex
- Apartments will be priced in the mid-range at around $300,000 to $500,000.
2. Infrastructure Development
The $8.2 billion Cross River Rail project is the largest transport project ever built in Queensland. The project will double the capacity of Brisbane city’s rail network while facilitating more trains from the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and the outer suburbs.
The project was undertaken to meet the expected doubling in demand for peak train services by 2016. The environmental impact report, released in September 2011, found that the latest design updates to the Cross River Rail project have led to lower construction costs, a lessening of community impact in terms of noise, road traffic, and air quality.
The development will enable the rail system to move up to 120,000 during the two-hour morning peak hour traffic period, reducing crowding and connecting suburbs such as Salisbury and Bowen Hills.
3. Commercial Property Projects
In addition to the boost from the Cross River Rail project and Showground Hill, Bowen Hills will host a significant new commercial property project. The Seymour Group is seeking permission to build a 22 level office tower on Abbotsford Road.
This transit-oriented development will include ground level retail spaces along with office spaces. The building project has been designed in accordance for a 4.5 NABERS Energy Rating and a 5 Star GreenStar Rating in mind.
Given these factors, Bowen Hills stands out among other inner city suburbs as an area to closely watch for investment property.