Sunshine Coast set to boom with proposed airport expansion

Commercial,Property ManagementFriday 27 May 2016

The Sunshine Coast has always been a popular tourist destination, even before 1958 when the name was officially adopted for this stretch of 60 kilometres of some of the best beaches in Australia.

However, the Sunshine Coast begins some 100 kilometres north of Brisbane airport, which means its capacity to cater for commercial aircraft at its own airport is key to its tourist intake. To ensure large commercial aircraft can land at the Sunshine Coast Airport, an expansion is planned.

A major infrastructure upgrade, the impact of the expansion is going to add up to more than just an increase in tourists, likely providing some very interesting commercial property investment opportunities as well.

Why the Sunshine Coast Airport needs an upgrade

Based at Marcoola, about halfway up the Sunshine Coast, the airport has catered to commercial flights since 1961, but an upgrade to the runways has been debated since the 1980s. Currently, it can land B737 and A320 aircraft, but the proposed expansion will give access to the larger A330 and Boeing 787 aircraft and facilitate smoother handling of aircraft across the complex.

Impact of the airport expansion on the economy

According to the Environmental Impact Statement, estimates are that the project will contribute $4.1 billion to the economy in its first 20 years of operation and create 2,230 new jobs by 2040. The expansion also means an increase in demand for office and retail space to cater for the influx of tourists.

Additional developments in the Sunshine Coast

In February, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk officially launched construction of a new Sunshine Coast CBD at Maroochydore, a project estimated to create 5,000 jobs by 2020.

The CBD will offer opportunities in retail, office and industrial property to the astute commercial property investor. The new development, to be known as SunCentral, includes approximately 150,000 square metres of commercial properties, 65,000 square metres of retail space, and 1,950 residential apartments, as well as integrated parks and a waterway.

Why you should consider the commercial property market

Although it’s early days yet, investors in commercial property may be wise to start looking into property valuation on the Sunshine Coast.

As well as the airport expansion and SunCentral, the $1.8 billion Sunshine Coast University Hospital is planned for completion in 2016.

Not to be outdone, the suburb of Caloundra South is looking to change its name to Aura and expand – 20,000 new residences are planned. The increase in population created by these developments on the Sunshine Coast is likely to attract diverse businesses – florists, construction companies, legal firms – looking to rent retail, industrial and office spaces in the area’s city centres.

These elements are likely to combine to create exciting opportunities for commercial property investors on the Sunshine Coast. With the right advice and commercial property management, you could be one of them.