Although the South Brisbane region has been busy with property development over the past decade, it has been the past 12 months that has seen a particular surge in multi-residential projects being built on the 4101 peninsula.

During the past 10 years, there has also been an increase in road and public transport infrastructure and cultural development spending in our area. According to the South East Queensland Infrastructure Plan and Program, almost $3 billion has been spent in the West End Catchment in culture, transport, education, health and mixed use. Another $2.5 billion in infrastructure is planned or has commenced in the area since 2011. 

In 2014, the proposal of the Kurilpa Riverfront Renewal project in particular was to give developers the opportunity to be part of the process to help make the South Brisbane area ‘a vibrant new riverside community’. Queensland’s change in government has seen the project put on hold, however the residential property boom throughout South Brisbane and West End continues.

More than a dozen apartment blocks are under development at this point, by major property development players like Anthony John Group, ARIA, BPM, Metro Property Developments, Mirvac, Pradella, Stockwell, Turrisi and VCP.

While Brisbane has been famous for its Queenslanders, back yards and sunny suburbs, there is no escaping that the city, with a population approaching 2.5 million people, needs to face the facts and curb the urban sprawl. While a huge influx of residents was expected with the implementation of the Kurilpa project, 4101 is already one of the most populated areas in greater Brisbane. The 2011 Census saw the population of the 4101 region at more than 19,000, and in 2013, Highgate Hill was Brisbane’s third most populated suburb, just behind New Farm and Kangaroo Point.

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The proximity to the CBD, and the relatively underused factory space in South Brisbane have given way to the logical argument for higher density inner city living, versus urban sprawl and longer commute times. Key initiatives like the South Brisbane Riverside Neighbourhood Plan (2011) is aligned with the City Centre Masterplan (2014) making way for higher density residential development, with the River’s Edge Strategy (2013) designed to increase the recreational and commercial usage of the riverfront.

According to NIEIR Employment Forecasts, another 27,500 jobs will be created between the Brisbane CBD and South Brisbane by 2031. Increased cycle paths, train stations, City Glider and City Cat stops have been put in place to cope with the increase in population.

The community feeling of West End has long been a selling point for those moving into the area. Unlike satellite suburbs popping up on the city’s fringe, these new apartments give residents instant access to an established and vibrant community. West End and South Brisbane are famous for their bars, markets, quirky retail scene and exceptional restaurants and cafes, making the precinct more attractive for young professionals who are keen to live amongst the vibrant culture of a world-class city.

While South Bank has long been the cultural centre of Brisbane, it has also recently established itself as one of the city’s best dining precincts. High profile chefs and restaurateurs have been moving into the area in a steady stream, supported by South Bank Corporation’s marketing team, and are banding together to make a world-class dining precinct. Property marketing agent CBRE’s Eric David says these amenities are a major selling point for buyers looking for somewhere out of the CBD.

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CBRE, which recently took out the award for Best Property Consultancy Australia in the Asia Pacific International Property Awards, is currently representing five major property developments in the West End catchment including Verde, INK, Spice and Soda. A quick glance at the names of these residential projects will tell you that developers are keen on selling more than just an apartment. More than ever, integrated, multi-media marketing campaigns are playing an important role in property development. Selling a lifestyle and a community on top of the apartment has become par for the course. “Marketing is extremely important in terms of property as it brings projects and developments to life. Giving a really clear brand to a project allows buyers to find their perfect match. With an influx of development in the Brisbane area, it is important to differentiate our projects through marketing campaigns,” says David.

A commonality amongst the developments is the use of the ground level for mixed-use commercial space. Renting these spaces to restaurants, retail stores and services, the developers are all engaged in creating a community atmosphere within the floor plan. Local developer, ARIA Property Group, has a keen eye for integrating their developments into the greater community. Their recent projects, like the award-winning Austin and Botanica, currently under construction, rely on their retail ground level to create opportunities for local businesses.

4101 is attractive to developers and buyers alike. David puts it down to the lifestyle hub offered by the restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, public transport and accessibility to the CBD. The proximity to the universities and schools is also a driving factor.

Despite the Kurilpa Riverside Renewal project being on hold, property developers are not slowing and neither is demand. In 2014, ARIA Property Group’s Botanica and Village Green sold out within 30 days. There is a similar story across the board with local developments. While an increase in population is inevitable for the West End Catchment, the population growth will bring with it an increase in infrastructure funding and increased pressure to open up the riverfront for public enjoyment and business.

Words by Alice Thompson | Images supplied by developers