Flyover shows progress with new CBD only two years away

WHAT once was rolling greens and sweeping fairways has been transformed into bare earth as diggers carve out the floor plan for the future heart of the Sunshine Coast set to grow before our eyes in less than two years.

A flyover video posted on the Maroochydore City website shows just how extensive the preliminary works have been, as precincts three and six are prepared following the opening of expressions to developers looking to invest.

The two stages being developed first make up the Principal Centre (CBD) zone, with some public plaza and open space and waterways also making up the earliest stages of the development.

The expressions of interest were opened up on June 27 with the 53ha site to be developed over the next 20 years with the first expression of interest process to be finalised in the next six-to-12 months.

So what can we expect?

SunCentral CEO John Knaggs said we can expect to see buildings coming out of the ground by 2018 with preliminary construction works set to wrap up in the next two-and-a-half months.

Next year it's expected we will see civil works rolled out with titles issued for the vertical builds which will kick off in 2018.

SunCentral, the Sunshine Coast Council-owned body, will carry out all public infrastructure works, including laying extensive underground fibre optic cabling on the 53ha greenfield site.

Artist's impressions of the new Maroochydore CBD.
Artist's impressions of the new Maroochydore CBD. SunCentral

They'll be tasked with the delivery of street scaping, smart technology and parklands, before the private sector looks to take charge of the vertical builds, delivering the commercial, residential and retail spaces.

Fifty-three million dollars has been allocated to SunCentral by the council over the past two financial years Mr Knaggs said.

"Essentially SunCentral is the development manager for the project," he said.

Acquiring the site, the former home of Horton Park Golf Course, cost $42 million in compensation to the golf club, which has reinvented itself as the Maroochy River Golf Club out at Bli Bli.

Mr Knaggs said the entire project was designed to be cost-neutral, with revenue from the sale of development stages to compensate the council for its expenditure.

He said the council had stepped in to kickstart the project and the early stages going out to market now were hoped to fast-track investment, council remuneration and the creation of jobs within the new CBD.

The new city centre looks set to also feature the tallest buildings in the region, with planning certainty given for a range of buildings which Mr Knaggs said were expected to range from five-to-six storeys up to 15, 20 and 25 storeys.

The tallest building on the Coast at present is the Mantra at Mooloolaba, sitting at 18 floors and 62m high with the next tallest being Northcliffe Apartments in Maroochydore (16 floors, 54m high).

Among the uses within the CBD, retirement and aged care living would be included in the structures, as well as professional services, technology, education and research industries.

Mr Knaggs said another feature of the development would be the push towards public transport, with a focus on utilising public transport, connectivity and encouraging less reliance on vehicles.

He said three multi-storey carparks would be built in the early stages, but whether they were paid parking services or not was a future decision for the council.

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