Society & Culture Gold Coast CBD/Inner City Watch

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Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 12, 2007
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The trial of a Speakers' Corner in Southport has been given the thumbs-up from councillors and the public
A SPEAKERS’ Corner, similar to the famous tourist attraction in Hyde Park, London, is set to be trialled at Southport.

Area councillor Dawn Crichlow confirmed a team from the Gold Coast CBD Office was keen to give the idea, first mooted by the Gold Coast SunNewspaper, a go.

“I have already told them I think it’s a jolly good idea for the city and they said it is something they would definitely like to trial,” she said.

“At the moment, they are extending their trial of buskers at Cavill Ave and Broadbeach Mall, which has been really, really successful.

“They are looking at including a speakers’ corner at Southport in this trial. They have more flexibility to do these things at Southport in preparation for the Commonwealth Games.”

A Southport Speakers’ Corner has also been given the thumbs-up by public speakers and Teresa Brake, president of the Robina Toastmasters Club, was confident the city had talented locals keen to have their say.

“It’s a good idea and clubs like ours could have some input. We would love to be involved and help out where can,” Ms Brake said. “It would be good to have a venue or a location where people can express their views to the public and show visitors that we have some good speakers.”

Ms Brake said she was not sure how the famous Hyde Park Speakers’ Corner operated but this could be researched.

“We could draw from their experience and apply it to our situation on the Gold Coast,” she said.

The idea has already been welcomed by the city’s tourism boss Martin Winter, who said it could be a major drawcard for tourists, and Professor Steve Stockwell, of the Griffith University School of Humanities.

“Any improvement to the opportunity to speak about political and social matters is a very useful contribution to make to this city’s life,” Professor Stockwell said.

“I think a speakers’ corner will bring a certain tint and excitement and could become a tourist attraction.

“More importantly, given the power of the media and the difficulty people have getting their voices heard, it’s a simple old-fashioned way for them to try ideas out and see the impact they have on an audience.”

Prof Stockwell said it would mark a return to the Ancient Greek approach to democratic participation.

“People could talk things out, ”he said.
This is great news! I don't believe there are currently any outdoor free speech areas in Queensland. Imagine strolling down to Southport Broadwater Parklands on a Sunday afternoon and debating the big issues with other locals or listening to someone on a pedestal that feels so passionately about his/her beliefs but also being allowed to question/retort them in a friendly, safe environment.

Bring it on!
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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The trial of a Speakers' Corner in Southport has been given the thumbs-up from councillors and the public

This is great news! I don't believe there are currently any outdoor free speech areas in Queensland. Imagine strolling down to Southport Broadwater Parklands on a Sunday afternoon and debating the big issues with other locals or listening to someone on a pedestal that feels so passionately about his/her beliefs but also being allowed to question/retort them in a friendly, safe environment.

Bring it on!
Bring on the homophobes, xenophobes, and racists.

Nevermind, we don't play Collingwood at home this year ;)
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Bring on the homophobes, xenophobes, and racists.

Nevermind, we don't play Collingwood at home this year ;)
The Gold Coast has leaned to the right historically so it wouldn't be surprising to see the conservatives occupying the area. I have a feeling one of the first debates will involve the future of The Spit. The guys from Save Our Spit will almost definitely try to convince locals that it's a bad idea to develop The Spit. Then you might have pro-development people showing up to shut them down. It's the perfect setting at the Broadwater Parklands because The Spit is within viewing distance.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Tale of new city: Revival of Gold Coast's oldest suburb Southport
SOUTHPORT’s historic Queenslanders will be bulldozed to make way for concrete, steel and glass towers, as the city’s oldest suburb transforms into a modern, thriving metropolis.

Only tiny pockets of homes are likely to survive, as Southport councillor Dawn Crichlow reveals her vision to transform the Priority Development Area into a high-density zone devoid of space-consuming stand-alone houses.

“The PDA will look really good in 10 years,” she said.

“You will go from Sundale Bridge up to Railway St and you will be able to see pure density around the entire area.

“There will be residential areas in Southport but eventually the PDA won’t have any houses left.”

Cr Crichlow said Southport would become a global player in education and health and vowed to push for a ferry service to ease congestion.

“The plan would be to get a ferry service going so people can just leave their cars outside the city,” she said. “Young kids park their cars ages away and skateboard to work anyway.”

REIQ Gold Coast zone chairman John Newlands said Southport was undergoing a demographic switch, with young people pouring into the real estate market at an unprecedented rate.

“There won’t be many houses left in a year but Southport is moving away from being a poorer suburb into a wealthy and trendy area to live and work,” he said.

“The light rail and PDA have driven investment and development and the light rail is now connecting people with the health and education hubs.

“The affordability is still very good and the light rail has opened up the end of the Gold Coast which was once the poorer suburb. It was older and not desirable but now, with the revival of Southport, will be the best area to buy in.”
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Ageing and deteriorating homes are selling for millions in Southport
OLD and dilapidated homes are netting their owners millions of dollars as the ‘Southport ghetto’ transforms into streets of gold.

Average house sale prices in the CBD have nearly doubled, from $744,000 to $1.29 million, since it was declared a Priority Development Area in 2013.

Predominantly Australian developers, hungry to take advantage of reduced red tape, are buying the last remaining houses in the PDA zone, building modern highrises and marketing the area off the back of the light rail project.

Property Focus Developments gave one homeowner $1.25 million in 2015 for his modest home at 38 Queen St which he bought for $630,000 in 2011.

A few blocks away, the Oracle development group forked out $1.7 million for a house at 17 Waverley St and Zest Projects paid $920,000 for a house at 1 Park Lane.

They were among 65 houses which sold in the area since 2013, generating $83 million for sellers.

Comparatively, only 26 houses sold in the previous three years for a total of $19 million.

Fox Realty principal Mick Flynn said developers were squeezing home buyers out of the market to build highrises near the light rail track.

“The few houses left on large blocks near the light rail are gold mines,” he said.

“Southport will look like a very different place in a few years and everyone who is involved in stand-alone houses will do very well.

“Developers will often doorknock the older houses and try to convince people to sell on the spot but they normally run smaller operations than you would think.

“They are mainly Australians pooling money together to do medium-level high-rises.”

Mr Flynn said the light rail was also drawing people to the area which was bolstering prices.

“Southport used to be a very poor suburb but it is being revitalised and if you watch where the biggest increases in price occur, it lines up with the light rail and the Priority Development Area zone,” he said.

“People who once would have turned away from Southport are now interested because of the wealth pouring into the city.

“When an area starts to improve like this it becomes attractive and you start seeing more small businesses and those boutique bars pop up.”

Committee for Southport chairman John Howe, who helped create the PDA status in 2013, said business had returned to the hub after several tough years.

“When we started this process three years ago, people just were not interested in Southport,” he said.

“The GFC and the light rail construction had devastated the area and people didn’t start coming back until we put together an overall map to show people how much money was about to be spent on the area.

“It was about $5 billion worth of investment and infrastructure and that was due to the PDA, confidence returning to the economy and acknowledgment Southport is the CBD.”


He said the area was experiencing a cultural revolution, with bars and restaurants flourishing off increased night trade.

“You walk around the area now and restaurants are full and the large community is out enjoying themselves,” he said.

“Business owners from Nobbys and Burleigh are now looking at Southport as the place to be because of how far we have come.”
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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It should be noted that several pubs in the CBD boundaries have changed their trading hours since the new city plan has come into effect. Both the Cecil Hotel and Club Southport are now open until 3am every night. There's probably more but those are the ones I know of at this stage.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Luxury brands prepare to open doors on Gold Coast this Thursday as Pacific Fair puts final touches to $670m facelift
IT’S one of the world’s most recognisable luxury brands, has stores in “the most important cities on earth” — and it’s coming to town to recruit you.

Tiffany & Co., which boasts signature stores everywhere from Hong Kong to Sydney, Rome and Shanghai, has launched a search for staff for its first Gold Coast store, at the redeveloped Pacific Fair.

The centre is increasing its floor area by 50 per cent to 150,000sq m to make room for 120 new specialty retailers and a high-end luxury precinct, with tenants including Tiffany & Co.

At least seven new retailers will open at Pacific fair from Thursday (April 21) in the new mall connecting the yet-to-be completed Resort section of the centre with the newly opened Fresh Food Market.

They include Calvin Klein, Diesel, Honey Birdette, Jurlique, Lululemon, Tigerlily and Oscar Cullinan’s new Oscar Oscar hair salon.

“The new salon at Pacific Fair is so sexy,” Mr Cullinan said.

“I think we’re redefining the salon experience there. It’s my baby.”

More stores will follow in May, with an army of tradies literally working around the clock to complete the finale phase of the centre’s transformation by July.

H & M will open a two-level flagship store at Pacific Fair on May 5, with the brand-new David Jones department store, complete with newly designed cafe and a Chanel boutique, on track to open the same week.

More than 100 new retail outlets were scheduled to come online this month but delays around David Jones’ fitout are believed to have seen many postponed until May.

Superdry Global has confirmed it will open its first Queensland store at the Broadbeach centre in May while designer labels Kate Spade New York, Eve, Dion Lee, Camilla and AJE will join Rolex, Laser, Max Mara, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfigger, RM Williams, UGG, Looksmart and Gazman, Addidas, Prada, Carla Zampatti, Michael Kors, Eve, Peter Alexander, Decjuba and Mecca Cosmedica on the centre’s impressive list of retailers.

A British international branded clothing label, Superdry combines vintage Americana styling with Japanese-inspired graphics to create ranges for men, women and children and exclusive international signature collections by celebrities, including British actor Idris Elba.

The new additions join a growing list of some of the world’s top brands — including a two-level Uniqlo store, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Tiffany & Co., Christian Louboutin, Hermes, Sheike, Mimco, Salvatore Ferragamo, Zimmerman and Lacoste — preparing to open at Pacific Fair.

The redevelopment is expected to make Pacific Fair the fourth largest shopping centre in Australia, servicing an estimated population of 587,590 this year, and boost sales turnover from about $600 million a year to $1 billion.

The new luxury stores will account for many of the estimated 1540 new retail positions being created as part of the centre’s $670 million transformation.

Tiffany & Co. is seeking fulltime and casual staff with the right “cut, clarity, carat and colour” to fill a variety of roles including fashion sales supervisor, merchandise co-ordinator, sales professional, assistant sales manager, sales supervisor (fine) and customer service co-ordinator.
Probably a stretch to say Broadbeach will be considered inner city in the future but the redevelopment of Pacific Fair is significant enough to mention here as it will become the fourth largest shopping centre in Australia when completed and the closest major shopping centre to the Southport CBD. This specific area will focus on high-end shopping so major international brands like Tiffany and Co., Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Hermes, Mimco, Rolex, H & M, Calvin Klein etc. have all signed on to become tenants. Here are some photos of the area about to be opened to the public:





Just another example of a project on the GC that proves it really is boom time for the city.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Residents and development breathing new life into coastal suburb Labrador
RESIDING in the northern corridor of the Gold Coast, Labrador is fast becoming a paradise for residents seeking an affordable and central suburb that is still within arms’ reach of the beach. Younger families are coming in, attracted to the Broadwater views along with one of the best parks on the Gold Coast — Harley park.

While the suburb is transforming from of its old look, it is not leaving its treasures behind.

The Grand Hotel has remained in the same spot since the early 1900s and it is visited by those from surrounding suburbs.

LJ Hooker Broadwater principal Danny Malone says there has been a lot of support for changes to town planning in Labrador, with residents enjoying new development.

“The council wants to see Labrador develop and fit into the rest of the style of the Gold Coast but there’s a balance in trying not to create an oversupply of dwellings, we’re looking at a good mix,” Danny says.

“Ten years ago Labrador was seeing half the activity it’s seeing today, with increased growth in the northern corridor. Most of what we sell now is 60 per cent units. We’re also finding that we’re selling to high-end users and young owner-occupiers.”

Danny reckons while it’s hard to get a house under $450,000, the influx of units offers more affordability, with prices starting at $250,000.

“Labrador is one of those well laid-out suburbs where there are different house prices that run straight through the guts of the suburb. In the corner of Labrador there are lots of affordable duplexes which have been snapped up by buyers. The bigger apartments are generally on the waterfront and they certainly complement the area.”

Sapphire At The Broadwater and Coast Broadwater are two of the newest developments taking off. The $100 million Coast Broadwater development’s first stage has already sold out. Stage one includes 124 residential apartments.

Labrador is also on the world stage once a year, with the annual Gold Coast Airport Marathon running through part of the suburb.

Held on the first weekend of July and attracting more than 27,000 participants, the race winds through Labrador.

The suburb’s sporting clubs include the Labrador Tigers AFL Club.

General manager Connie Sawker says it is growing in popularity, with a great increase in membership recently.

“We’re getting calls from the community who want to get involved — especially the little juniors who have taken interest in playing after watching the bigger boys do really well,” Connie says.

“On a Saturday we have a lot of community members from Labrador coming to the club’s oval ... and cheering the boys on.”

Connie says Labrador is a suburb with residents both young and old.

“The club has a great relationship with both sides of the community but we are seeing an increase in young members.”

While the club is in an older area of Labrador, Connie reckons the beauty about its location is it’s not directly on the street.

She says local Labrador band Rockwell plays at the club as well as country singer Lee Conway, who calls the suburb home.
An example of an inner city suburb benefiting from the establishment of the Gold Coast CBD in Southport. Historically, Labrador had a reputation of being a run down suburb of the GC but now it's really picking up. If anyone is unaware, Labrador is just north of the CBD boundaries and shares Broadwater views with the CBD so it would most definitely fall under the category of 'inner city'. It's great to see the Labrador Tigers AFL club also benefiting from the developments.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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Leading gaming analyst and business leaders back a potential ASF and Crown Resorts deal
A KEY gaming analyst says moves by billionaire James Packer to take the casino war to Jupiters by joining forces with ASF would give the group’s Main Beach proposal a better chance of success.

The Chinese-backed ASF group plans to spend well over $2 billion on an integrated resort and casino on 5ha of Crown land near Sea World but there has been no public progress on the proposal since last August.

Sacha Krien, senior analyst of media and gaming for Asian brokerage and investment giant CLSA, said a Crown Casino franchise could get the government approvals over the line.

“We believe the inclusion of Crown in this project would give it a lot more credibility; the government has reportedly told ASF previously that a local partner will be required for approval to be granted,” he said in a statement.

“We see benefits to Crown having a network of casino assets on the east coast of Australia, but there are some potential stumbling blocks to them getting involved in this project.”

Mr Krien said the accessibility of the Main Beach site was among the stumbling blocks as well as Crown’s credit rating; the logistics of a joint venture; and fierce competition from Star’s Queen’s Wharf project in Brisbane and their redeveloped Jupiters Casino at Broadbeach.

Director David Fang refused to comment on the Packer negotiations, however theGold Coast Bulletin has been told an announcement on the deal is close.

Mr Fang said the company was close to confirming a “major, significant piece of infrastructure” to resolve the traffic issues blocking the project.

“We are very confident that we can find a solution that will satisfy council and the State Government — we are travelling in the right direction and it will be a major piece of significant infrastructure for the Gold Coast,” he said.

Crown also declined to comment on the negotiations.

Mr Packer has longstanding connections with the Glitter Strip, having previously served for more than three years on the board of Sunland as a non-executive director.

In 2006 he spent more than $70 million to buy a 13 per cent share in the company but sold the shares and resigned from the board in mid-2009 in the wake of the financial crisis.

Sunland boss Dr Soheil Abedian yesterday told the Gold Coast Bulletin he had fond memories of Mr Packer’s time with the company and praised his abilities in the boardroom and understanding of development and the Gold Coast.

“During his term with Sunland he was a great voice and a great asset,” he said.

“Mr Packer was a significant director and had a great insight into development and vision for growing the company.”

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland Gold Coast policy chairman Martin Brady said local businesses would welcome Crown’s involvement.

“Having a company such as Crown investing in a casino here is not only good for marketing of that operation but also for the Gold Coast, as a market to invest in,” he said.

“Crown are international in their operations here, as well as in Macau and this adds value to the Gold Coast as a base for this.

“It would be great to get a big name such as this in the mix and it would give us major marketing power because it is a name known all over the world.”
Looks like a Crown Gold Coast franchise could be on the cards to make the second GC casino a reality. The article says a deal between Packer and ASF is close. Packer does not currently run any casinos in Queensland and missed out on the Brisbane licence that was recently offered so it's not surprising to see him interested in building a casino in Queensland's second largest city/market. I think it would be a good thing for the city because you'll have Crown and Star going head-to-head vying for the business of locals and a fast growing international tourist market on the GC. The result should be two high quality entertainment precincts.

The article also alludes to ASF is close to confirming a significant piece of transport infrastructure in the area, which I dare say would funding for a light rail extension out to The Spit.
 

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getting back to the pacific fair topic, the main entry along gooding drive is finished. the other day there looked to be about 200 workers on site finishing off the landscaping and putting the final touches on the facades. it looks exactly like the renders, very impressive!
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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getting back to the pacific fair topic, the main entry along gooding drive is finished. the other day there looked to be about 200 workers on site finishing off the landscaping and putting the final touches on the facades. it looks exactly like the renders, very impressive!
It's going to look incredible at night with that roof lit up and all the high-end shops in the same area. Even the water features look great.
 

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It's going to look incredible at night with that roof lit up and all the high-end shops in the same area. Even the water features look great.
ahh i can imagine! i'll have to stick around in broady one night to take a look.

that area with that "super roof" that you can see into off gooding drive, do you know if all the shops in there are open? it looks pretty finished to me, but i couldnt quite get a good enough look into it to see if there were customers walking around in there.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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ahh i can imagine! i'll have to stick around in broady one night to take a look.

that area with that "super roof" that you can see into off gooding drive, do you know if all the shops in there are open? it looks pretty finished to me, but i couldnt quite get a good enough look into it to see if there were customers walking around in there.
They aren't open yet. I believe they plan to fully open the "super roof" area in June. I went walking through the shopping centre the other night and it genuinely looked like a stadium roof. It's massive!

I've also heard the new Hollywood-style PACIFIC FAIR sign is now in place opposite Dracula's but I haven't had a chance to check it out myself yet.
 

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Norm Smith Medallist
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I've also heard the new Hollywood-style PACIFIC FAIR sign is now in place opposite Dracula's but I haven't had a chance to check it out myself yet.
Sounds intriguing. If you see it, please take a photo! Won't have a chance to get down to the Coast for a few weeks myself.
 
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