Society & Culture Gold Coast CBD/Inner City Watch

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Norm Smith Medallist
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So anyone who has been following GC events lately should know the council is trying their hardest to create a CBD in Southport. In this thread I am going to attempt to give a snapshot of the planned Gold Coast CBD. The area has been classed as a Priority Development Area by the QLD government and as such developers can easily cut through red tape. It means the area will be changing A LOT of the next decade. I'm thinking about going street by street and giving an idea of what currently exists, what is planned and what may be coming. Please join in the conversation if you have any interest. Let's start with the boundaries.




The boundaries stretch from North st in the north, the corner of Pohlman and Nerang st in the west, the corner of Brighton and Chester Tce in the south and the Gold Coast Highway to the east. Here is a video that shows the planned development in the area. Skip to 1:35.

 
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Norm Smith Medallist
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I can't see the Light Rail being sustainable in 20 years through the CBD on a single line if there are going to be thousands of people using it to get to/from work. But I can't wait for the CBD to become a reality - it's exactly what GC needs. Fantastic.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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First off is Southport Broadwater Parklands as it was really the first element of the CBD to be completed in 2009 and stage 2 in 2010. Everything to the left of the major road in the picture below is a part of the Southport Broadwater Parklands.



The most iconic part of the Broadwater Parklands is definitely the Southport Pier.



It provides a magnificent view of the Surfers Paradise skyline and will provide a great view of the CBD in the future. It also gives a great view of the Sea World/Marina Mirage area. If you haven't been there I suggest checking it out at night because the view is amazing and they have projectors that make it look like there are animals in the ocean. Fishing off the pier is also common.

To the south there is an area called ANZAC Park that commemorates our soldiers.




To the north there is the Aquatic Centre that was built for the Commonwealth Games. This was finished earlier this year and is an impressive facility.



The area also includes plenty of open grass space, hills, public bbqs, rockpools, beach volleyball courts, a promenade, playgrounds, ponds and a man made beaches/swimming areas (you can see the sand in the pictures) among other things. It's a nice place to spend your Sunday morning if you are looking to do something with the family, especially if you don't want to spend any money. It is also a bit arty. Here is an example of a large human sculpture on one of the hills. Quite a bit taller than the average human if you were wondering.



Over the next 12 months stage 3 will be completed which includes the reclamation of 3ha to the north. This area is currently a part of a caravan park but will be developed to include a new jetty and pontoon platform, playgrounds and event space. It will also see the Fishing Club receive a new clubhouse. So there is a quick snapshot of Southport Broadwater Parklands.
 
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Norm Smith Medallist
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I can't see the Light Rail being sustainable in 20 years through the CBD on a single line if there are going to be thousands of people using it to get to/from work. But I can't wait for the CBD to become a reality - it's exactly what GC needs. Fantastic.
You have to remember that a lot more people will be living in that area and therefore won't have to take the light rail. They can just walk to work as it isn't a big area. There has been talk in the past that new light rail lines through Southport/Main Beach will be built to cope with the load but I agree it will need to be extended in the future. At least they built the public transport network before the CBD. Sydney are having a devil of a time trying to get their light rail system up and running through the city. When the demand comes I'm sure an extension will be made through Southport.

It's really exciting that a CBD is going to be built virtually from scratch right before our eyes. Some of the projects that are in the works are going to be real game changers for the city and I'll go into them later in the thread. Thanks for getting involved in the thread btw.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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I can't see the Light Rail being sustainable in 20 years through the CBD on a single line if there are going to be thousands of people using it to get to/from work. But I can't wait for the CBD to become a reality - it's exactly what GC needs. Fantastic.
Do you think a city circle tram extension (like the one in Melbourne) would work in the future? It could run along the Gold Coast Highway from Queen st to North st and then wrap around along High st. Probably a while off but I don't think it's a bad idea. This is what Melbourne's looks like by the way.

 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Do you think a city circle tram extension (like the one in Melbourne) would work in the future? It could run along the Gold Coast Highway from Queen st to North st and then wrap around along High st. Probably a while off but I don't think it's a bad idea. This is what Melbourne's looks like by the way.

I'd say not entirely. If anything I think that a secondary line crossing the current line way be the way to go, though. Unless the GC CBD turns out like Canary Wharf in London and ends up being huge with tens of thousands of workers, there wouldn't be a need.

It could work if there were two routes through the tourist stip - one going through the current route to GCUH and through to Helensvale Station, with a second route forming a circle route around the CBD once the tram rolls over the nerang river bridge and loops back to head back down South to Broadbeach after stopping throughout the CBD.

The G: Link will eventually expand into several different lines, with the main line obviously connecting North to South via the tourist strip, but I remember reading that a proposed plan given to the government included one route to Coolangatta via Burleigh, and one going to the airport via an inland route due to terrain. From this, and combined with Metricon hopefully getting a connection down the line, we can likely conclude that there will eventually be several different light rail lines and routes, but due to the expense, won't eventuate for decades.

Personally, I disagree with there being an 'offshoot' line to the airport, separate from the main line to Cooly. If anything, the Coolangatta extension should go via the airport like the Sydney train line, and not begin at the airport like the London tube.

Either way, if we were to assume that the following were to eventuate:
  • Extension to Helensvale Station via Harbour Town
  • Extension to Nerang Station via Metricon and possible casino, etc
  • Extension to Coolangatta
  • Extension to Gold Coast Airport (offshoot from main line to Cooly)
Then some trams would travel from Coolangatta/Airport to Nerang, some would travel from Coolangatta/Airport to GCUH, and some would travel from Coolangatta/Airport to Helensvale. IIRC the current number of trams in peak time can't be increased by much in future due to congestion. To avoid congestion, different routes have to exist in the long term.

That's where a 'city circle route' as per what I wrote at the top of this post would be handy - similar to the separatation of the Springfield and Ipswich lines during peak time in Brisbane.
 
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Norm Smith Medallist
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I'd say not entirely. If anything I think that a secondary line crossing the current line way be the way to go, though. Unless the GC CBD turns out like Canary Wharf in London and ends up being huge with tens of thousands of workers, there wouldn't be a need.

It could work if there were two routes through the tourist stip - one going through the current route to GCUH and through to Helensvale Station, with a second route forming a circle route around the CBD once the tram rolls over the nerang river bridge and loops back to head back down South to Broadbeach after stopping throughout the CBD.

The G: Link will eventually expand into several different lines, with the main line obviously connecting North to South via the tourist strip, but I remember reading that a proposed plan given to the government included one route to Coolangatta via Burleigh, and one going to the airport via an inland route due to terrain. From this, and combined with Metricon hopefully getting a connection down the line, we can likely conclude that there will eventually be several different light rail lines and routes, but due to the expense, won't eventuate for decades.

Personally, I disagree with there being an 'offshoot' line to the airport, separate from the main line to Cooly. If anything, the Coolangatta extension should go via the airport like the Sydney train line, and not begin at the airport like the London tube.

Either way, if we were to assume that the following were to eventuate:
  • Extension to Helensvale Station via Harbour Town
  • Extension to Nerang Station via Metricon and possible casino, etc
  • Extension to Coolangatta
  • Extension to Gold Coast Airport (offshoot from main line to Cooly)
Then some trams would travel from Coolangatta/Airport to Nerang, some would travel from Coolangatta/Airport to GCUH, and some would travel from Coolangatta/Airport to Helensvale. IIRC the current number of trams in peak time can't be increased by much in future due to congestion. To avoid congestion, different routes have to exist in the long term.

That's where a 'city circle route' as per what I wrote at the top of this post would be handy - similar to the separatation of the Springfield and Ipswich lines during peak time in Brisbane.
Definitely issues that will need to be addressed in the future considering the light rail goes straight through the CBD. It will need to connect to the major areas along the heavy rail corridor such as Helensvale, Robina and Nerang in order to really connect to the public to the CBD. Anyway...

I think the system is fine for now but there is no doubting that the CBD area will be densely populated in the next decade or two. The high rises will go up and most people will live above sea level but because it's a relatively small area it isn't such a big issue. We're talking about an area that is around 3kms north-south and about 1.5kms east-west. In most cases that is a manageable distance to walk if you work in the CBD and live there but if it isn't you can always just use the light rail for one or two stops. Having said that, I think the boundaries will be extended and you'll get the 'inner city' areas that are sought after as well.
 
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Norm Smith Medallist
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Definitely issues that will need to be addressed in the future considering the light rail goes straight through the CBD. It will need to connect to the major areas along the heavy rail corridor such as Helensvale, Robina and Nerang in order for the public to really connect to the public to the CBD. Anyway...

I think the system is fine for now but there is no doubting that the CBD area will be densely populated in the next decade or two. The high rises will go up and most people will live above sea level but because it's a relatively small area it isn't such a big issue. We're talk about an area that is around 3kms north-south and about 1.5kms east-west. In most cases that is a manageable distance to walk if you work in the CBD and live there but if it isn't you can always just use the light rail for one or two stops. Having said that, I think the boundaries will be extended and you'll get the 'inner city' areas that are sought after as well.
It's an exciting prospect, isn't it?

I'm a huge fan of the terminus at Broadbeach South station. I love the fact that where the light rail terminates, there's a massive bus hub to take passengers almost anywhere. It's been well planned and perfectly implemented. More of these transport hubs wouldn't be a bad idea to ease congestion on the light rail in the future when the CBD is busy and bustling. For example, having a bus hub near the old Gold Coast hospital station (where the hospital used to be) for access to areas away from the light rail (Labrador, inland, etc) would be good imo.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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It's an exciting prospect, isn't it?

I'm a huge fan of the terminus at Broadbeach South station. I love the fact that where the light rail terminates, there's a massive bus hub to take passengers almost anywhere. It's been well planned and perfectly implemented. More of these transport hubs wouldn't be a bad idea to ease congestion on the light rail in the future when the CBD is busy and bustling. For example, having a bus hub near the old Gold Coast hospital station (where the hospital used to be) for access to areas away from the light rail (Labrador, inland, etc) would be good imo.
Very exciting. The benefits of a CBD to the city are endless so the sooner it happens the better.

Broadbeach South station has been very well designed. It's the perfect meeting pointing right outside the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre/Jupiters casino and is easy to transfer from tram to bus. That station is of particular interest to Suns fans because it is right next to Hooker Boulevard which would be used in an extension to Metricon. A bus hub near the old hospital station would make sense considering it fronts on to High st/Bermuda st which is one of the three major roads on the GC. I'm pretty sure the old hospital site is going out to tender at the moment so we'll find out very soon what will be done with that land.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Very exciting. The benefits of a CBD to the city are endless so the sooner it happens the better.

Broadbeach South station has been very well designed. It's the perfect meeting pointing right outside the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre/Jupiters casino and is easy to transfer from tram to bus. That station is of particular interest to Suns fans because it is right next to Hooker Boulevard which would be used in an extension to Metricon. A bus hub near the old hospital station would make sense considering it fronts on to High st/Bermuda st which is one of the three major roads on the GC. I'm pretty sure the old hospital site is going out to tender at the moment so we'll find out very soon what will be done with that land.
Speaking of Broadbeach South station, do you know why the busses to Metricon don't leave from there instead of Victoria Park? The traffic lights on the GC Highway/Hooker Blvd intersection are ******* terrible. Surely having AFL fans leaving from Broadbeach South Station (and therefore skipping the lights) would be a better option? Would probably cause a lot of person congestion though, and the station isn't exactly 'big'.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Speaking of Broadbeach South station, do you know why the busses to Metricon don't leave from there instead of Victoria Park? The traffic lights on the GC Highway/Hooker Blvd intersection are ******* terrible. Surely having AFL fans leaving from Broadbeach South Station (and therefore skipping the lights) would be a better option? Would probably cause a lot of person congestion though, and the station isn't exactly 'big'.
Yeah I would have thought Broady South would make more sense than Victoria Park. Maybe they plan on changing it in 2015? You have to remember the light rail didn't open until late in the season so it would have caused all sorts of problems if they changed it. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Have you looked into any of the CBD projects? The one that probably excites me the most at this stage is the Imperial City project. They claim it will be taller than the Q1.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Scarborough Street is next. I am of the opinion that Scarborough st will become the equivalent of Flinders st in Melbourne in the not too distant future. It runs from the northern most part of the CBD through about 75% of the area. In terms of length it is the longest road in the CBD and is located virtually right in the middle. Funnily enough the street is relatively underdeveloped at the moment as you will see.

Probably the most iconic part of the street at the moment is the Cecil Hotel. It is a restaurant/bar located right in the middle of the street on the western side. It is one of the oldest establishments on the Gold Coast and opened its doors in the 1930s. As you can see from the picture, the light rail goes right past it with the Southport station about 30 metres away.



About 600 metres south of the Cecil Hotel is Zhen project. Zhen is currently being built and will be an apartment high rise.




Just north of Zhen is the Victoria Towers. The Victoria Towers building is one of the two high rises along Scarborough st at the moment. It provides aged care facilities as well as apartments. Directly next to the Victoria Towers building is the Southport RSL which you will see in the second picture below.




Just north of the Southport RSL you will find the Southport Central buildings. This area consists of three high rises and I believe provides plenty of restaurants and other establishments. It's easy to pick this one out because the three high rises are all next to each other.




The next block to the north of Southport Central is partially owned by the Australia Fair Shopping Centre which will be undergoing some renovations and will look the picture below soon. You can see the bridge in the picture that actually takes you to the eastern side of the road and into the main Australia Fair Shopping Centre area. To the right of this picture is the eastern entrance to the Chinatown precinct. The next block north would take you right back to the Cecil Hotel.



The block north of the Cecil Hotel contains a dated retail building and the Southport Police Station. I imagine the retail builing will be turned into a high rise in the not too distant future. Everything north of the Police station is mainly just little shops and is underdeveloped. The same goes for anything south of Zhen at the moment. So that's the western side of Scarborough explained.

To be continued...
 
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Norm Smith Medallist
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Have you looked into any of the CBD projects? The one that probably excites me the most at this stage is the Imperial City project. They claim it will be taller than the Q1.
I haven't actually seen any of them, so I look forward to when you post about them! haha
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Brighton Parade now. Brighton Parade is a broadwater front road at the southern most part of the CBD. A lot of development has been going on in Brighton Parade lately as you will see below.

Brighton Shores is located at the northern area of Brighton Parade. As well as providing apartments, it has a variety of nice restaurants at the ground level and is directly across the road from the Broadwater Parklands light rail station.



Just south of Brighton Shores (separated by Como Crescent) is Sundale. Another apartment building that has a Woolworths and dining area on the ground level. It is currently under construction. It is the tallest building in the first picture below. It's apparently going to be finished in 2016.




To be continued...
 
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Norm Smith Medallist
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Not quite a part of the CBD but definitely close enough and big enough to deserve a mention. Experimental, you might be interested in this. In the GC Bulletin today there big plans were revealed for the cruise ship terminal/casino on Wave Break Island about 2kms north of the CBD. Here is a photo of the plan:




It will include
  • 6 star integrated resort.
  • Cruise ship terminal.
  • A casino.
  • Wave Break Tower (could be a 50 story tower).
  • Ocean Pavilion.
  • Walkway to integrated resort.
  • Hotel tower.
  • Gardens and wedding pavilion.
  • Pool, entertainment and beverage area.
  • Yacht and convenience marina.
  • Theatre and south promenade.
  • Art museum.
  • Promenade residences.
  • International resort living community.
  • International school.
  • Sunset shores.
  • Quayside living.
  • Marina living.
  • Wharf residences.
  • Moon Island resort villas.
  • Gateway park and events plaza.
  • Celebration plaza.
  • Eastern beach and celebration esplanade.
  • Mariner's plaza and fish market.
  • Sunrise point and eastern peninsula.
  • North beach and parkland.
  • North point and a viewing tower.
  • Western promenade, linear park and sunset beach.
  • Shell observation tower.
It will cost $7.5 billion and stage one would open in 2019. Around 7000 people would be able to live on the island. A decision from the State Government on whether the project will go ahead is expected to be made later this year/early next year.
 
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Norm Smith Medallist
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Wow that is fantastic. I don't understand the opposition towards this. It's a man made island anyway isn't it? Or at least partially. This would be incredible for the Gold Coast.

That image of the island looks a hell of a lot bigger than it is currently so I'm assuming that it will be expanded prior to building? Either way, I'm hoping it'll be approved.

Does this mean I'll take up one of the two available casino licences that the government is allowing for the Coast. Any word on the second?
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Wow that is fantastic. I don't understand the opposition towards this. It's a man made island anyway isn't it? Or at least partially. This would be incredible for the Gold Coast.

That image of the island looks a hell of a lot bigger than it is currently so I'm assuming that it will be expanded prior to building? Either way, I'm hoping it'll be approved.

Does this mean I'll take up one of the two available casino licences that the government is allowing for the Coast. Any word on the second?
Yes, it is a man made island. It was created in 1985 as a part of the Gold Coast Seaway construction. It looks bigger because they are going to reclaim land to make it three times its current size. I believe there are three casino licences that are being floated around in Queensland, one for Brisbane and two for regional areas. One was assigned to the Gold Coast and the other was assigned to Cairns. It means there will be two casinos (total) on the Gold Coast if it is approved. It'll be great for the people who decide to stay there because you've got the CBD just 2kms away on the western side, Sea World to the eastern side (a bridge from The Spit to this project is inevitable) and South Stradbroke Island to the north.

As it is with the case with anything on the Gold Coast, there is opposition to this. In terms of how it relates to the CBD, I think we'll see the boundaries extend north into Labrador and perhaps even Biggera Waters to get close to this project. We've already seen that starting to happen with the planned third stage of Southport Broadwater Parklands going all the way up to the Southport-Labrador border (see here). Plenty of nice hotels already exist along Marine Parade in Labrador so I think we'll just see more development occur there. Perhaps even a city light rail loop that goes from the CBD down to Main Beach, passes Sea World, then goes through this project and ends up back at the CBD.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Norm Smith Medallist
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I think it looks good. Reading the comments on Facebook makes me want a headbutt a small child though. Gold Coasters hate change, and it makes me really ******* hate Gold Coasters.
You should have seen the outrage when it was announced Carrara Stadium would be redeveloped for the Suns. As you say, Gold Coasters hate change and can't see the bigger picture with a lot of things. I can only imagine how many great projects in the past have been rejected for no good reason.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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You should have seen the outrage when it was announced Carrara Stadium would be redeveloped for the Suns. As you say, Gold Coasters hate change and can't see the bigger picture with a lot of things. I can only imagine how many great projects in the past have been rejected for no good reason.
It's ******* embarrassing man. The Gold Coast is such an incredible city with an amazing atmosphere but the 'locals' hate every little bit of change. Whether it's a new hotel, casino, tram, stadium - whatever - they'll oppose it and whinge continuously until the project has been completed then they'll shut up. FFS.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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It's ******* embarrassing man. The Gold Coast is such an incredible city with an amazing atmosphere but the 'locals' hate every little bit of change. Whether it's a new hotel, casino, tram, stadium - whatever - they'll oppose it and whinge continuously until the project has been completed then they'll shut up. FFS.
It's a strange mentality held here by a lot of the locals. The light rail project is the perfect example of how clueless the city is sometimes. It seemed like everyone (at least the ones commenting on articles) was against a public transport network that would move the masses through the major areas of the city. Why on Earth would you be against that? Well, they were. The classic line of "white elephant" was thrown around and some people going as far as to say the line would be ripped up within 5 years of being completed. Fast forward to the opening of the G:link and it turns out that it was the right decision all along. Traders are experiencing big growth in revenue and it now seems almost everyone wants the line to be extended. We just need to make sure the people making the decisions are making the correct ones because it's obvious the Gold Coast public has no clue a lot of the time.
 

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