Evans Long Plots Office Building for Sunshine Coast CBD


South-east Queensland developer Evans Long has lodged plans for a new commercial building for the new $2.1-billion CBD in the heart of Maroochydore.

Plans have been put forward for a six-storey office block on a 1200sq m site on the corner of First Avenue and Gaba Lane.

The 3000sq m commercial project, designed by Cottee Parker, will be part of south-east Queensland’s largest urban regeneration project, stretching over a 53ha site.

If realised, the development, dubbed A1, would be the fifth major construction project to begin under the first stage of the Maroochydore CBD.

The new city centre’s first building, Foundation Place, was completed in September. Construction of the Habitat Development Group’s $83-million Market Lane Residences and Pro-invest Group’s Holiday Inn Express and Suites is now under way.

Evans Long director Dirk Long said the developer was pleased to be able to secure a second site following the resounding success of the first commercial building within the CBD, Foundation Place.

“As with Foundation Place, we are committed to achieving a 5-star NABERS energy rating for A1 which provides significant long term environmental benefits and cost efficiencies for purchasers and tenants alike,” Dirk said.

Lot A1 at SunCentral's Maroochydore CBD
▲ An artist's renders for Lot A1 at SunCentral's Maroochydore CBD. Image: Cottee Parker

The masterplanned site, which was formerly the Horton Park Golf Club, was declared a priority development area by the Queensland government in 2013.

The site has been rapidly transforming in recent years under SunCentral’s stewardship after the council created the special purpose group in 2015 and installed an independent board.

“There’s multiple tower cranes and hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of investment currently under way within the Maroochydore CBD,” SunCentral Maroochydore chief executive John Knaggs said.

“It’s a real hive of activity and it is pleasing to see so many tradespeople and suppliers working onsite each day to create a lasting legacy for future generations.”

The “new CBD” is the first stage of the project to be followed by mixed commercial and residential development.

The redevelopment is projected to deliver upwards of 160,000sq m of commercial and retail space as well as 4000 residential apartments during the next 15 to 20 years.

The planned city centre will be supported by other major infrastructure projects, including the Sunshine Coast airport expansion as well as a number of city-wide public transport infrastructure initiatives.

The council has provided the funds for preliminary infrastructure work across the masterplan site, but each stage of the project is expected to pay for itself.

SunCentral Maroochydore
▲ Construction of the new CBD is due to be completed in about 20 years.

Speaking at The Urban Developer’s recent In Focus: Sunshine Coast webinar, Sunshine Coast Council major projects director Debra Robinson said that despite the slowdown brought about by the global health crisis, the region’s population, which is currently 335,000, remains on track to reach 500,000 by 2041.

“Intra-state migration is now higher than it was pre-Covid. We understand the population figures and know that people are coming and we need to cater for that growth,” Robinson said.

“Council has a range of tools in its kit-bag to move ahead more rapidly.

“There is an amendment program for the current planning scheme for projects and opportunities within the planning framework that cannot wait.

“These tools can be used for priority matters that can’t wait in regards to a new planning scheme—such as housing.

“We also have the ability, albeit something this council rarely does, to use temporary level planning instruments are another way that council can look to have an interim planning response.”

In 2020, the Walker Corporation entered a landmark agreement with the Sunshine Coast Council and SunCentral for the exclusive rights to market and develop the remaining land at the 53ha CBD site.

The international submarine broadband cable network—which provides the fastest internet connection to Asia from the east coast and supercharged data connectivity to Sydney—is now also complete.

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