The Gold Coast Light Rail (GCLR) system is the biggest infrastructure program ever undertaken in this city and a major step in transforming the Gold Coast into a modern, accessible city.
While a world-class public transport system is designed to get more people off the road and around the city more sustainably, the benefits flow onto the commercial property sector too.
So where is the GCLR at?
Stages 1 and 2 are now complete and construction of Stage 3 – Broadbeach South to Burleigh Heads – is due to commence this year at a cost of $709 million.
Along with improvements to the general landscape and streetscape along the proposed route, major plans are in place to overhaul Nobby Beach, including new landscaping, more dedicated public spaces, improved pedestrians connections and cycling routes.
Planning for Stage 4 is underway with a view to extending the route from Burleigh Heads to Coolangatta, via Gold Coast Airport. With Queensland poised to host the 2032 Olympic Games, there are talks that Stage 4 of the Light Rail will be accelerated.
The flow-on benefits
- Employment: The other flow-on benefit of new infrastructure is, of course, jobs – both during the construction phase and permanent roles after each stage is complete.
- Access and activity: The GCLR also has the potential to unlock commercial and retail precincts which have previously struggled with access, parking and activity.
- Rezoning development potential: We know from the history in Southport and precincts along Stage 1 and 2 of the GCLR that the Council has rezoned certain pockets and relaxed some setbacks and car parking once the Light Rail was complete.
- Reduced traffic: Southport provides a good case study as the Light Rail has reduced vehicle traffic by 47% while pedestrian traffic has increased.
In my view, the GCLR is already helping to shape our city for the future and providing crucial infrastructure to cope with rapid growth.
Despite the ongoing short-term pain we face during construction periods, the long-term benefits will outweigh the cost.
Adam Grbcic is a leading specialist in commercial sales and leasing on the Gold Coast. Contact Adam on 0404 087 772 for strategic advice on your commercial property assets.
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