Australia’s largest greenfield CBD project secures a $2.5 billion commitment
  • Thursday 19 November 2020
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Maroochydore City Centre’s shovel ready CBD redevelopment is set for acceleration under a new development agreement with one of Australia’s leading private property groups.

The landmark agreement between Sunshine Coast Council, SunCentral Maroochydore Pty Ltd and Walker Corporation will see Walker Corporation invest $2.5 billion into the project.

The CBD development will deliver about 160,000 square metres of commercial and retail space and 4,000 residential apartments over the next 15 to 20 years.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said this was an historic agreement for the region.

“Walker Corporation has a record in delivering projects with local and state governments,” he said.

“Walker Corporation brings to the project significant resources, capital and long-term connections and partnerships with major blue-chip companies.”

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the agreement set new standards in the levels of financial, social and business benefit for our region.

The agreement with Walker Corporation will accelerate investment in the 53-hectare priority development area in the heart of Maroochydore on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The Council will retain ownership of the land until Walker Corporation delivers the buildings and infrastructure.

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.

As the project is delivered, the council will receive civic assets such as parks, walkways and The Corso, which will relieve council of the obligation to fund and deliver this infrastructure. 

With the development agreement in place, it is forecast that Council will now break even on the project in 2035, approximately ten years earlier than originally projected, and ultimately achieve for ratepayers an overall profit of approximately $41 million.

Walker Corporation’s investment in the 53-hectare Priority Development Area will commence immediately, with the project expected to create over 15,000 jobs over the life of the project.

The Sunshine Coast is one of Australia’s fastest-developing economies, which has historically grown each year at rates well above national averages, and is expected to expand from $17 billion to $33 billion by 2033.

Mayor Jamieson said the entire Sunshine Coast region wins from this agreement due to the jobs that would be generated by this long-term project and the services and facilities that would become available for the region as the city centre is developed.

“The Maroochydore city centre will be instrumental in building and strengthening the region, providing a mix of residential, commercial, retail, civic and community uses in order to develop a thriving and vibrant business district and city centre, enhancing Maroochydore’s existing business offering and strengthening our regional economy,” Mayor Jamieson said.

Mayor Jamieson said the development of this agreement is consistent with Council’s approach to other region-shaping projects – such as the Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion and the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Cable Network.

“Council had the foresight to look to the future, to take on the early risk with these projects and do the preparatory work needed to give confidence to highly experienced and respected commercial investors, who bring their capital and expertise to the table to enable the projects to reach their potential,” Mayor Jamieson said.

Walker Corporation Executive Chairman Lang Walker said he was excited to work with a Council that had such a bold vision and is determined to create more opportunities for their communities.

“The Council’s vision for Maroochydore’s 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.

“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 the infrastructure projects in the region, including the airport expansion, submarine broadband cable 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.”

SunCentral Pty Ltd Board Chairman Dr Doug McTaggart said he was pleased to have such an experienced Australian-owned commercial developer and building owner such as Walker Corporation involved in 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.”