$230m retail, residential project excluded from fee discount
DEVELOPERS of a $230million retail and residential project approved this month are challenging Gladstone Regional Council on its recently adopted infrastructure discount scheme.
Capita Group has gained council approval for a neighbourhood shopping centre opposite Vantage Estate on Kirkwood Rd as part of its project, The Summit.
The shopping centre will be built in four stages and features a retail precinct, outdoor dining areas, indoor sport and recreation areas, and food outlets.
The approval on July 2 came one day before Gladstone council adopted its infrastructure discount scheme, which offers a 50per cent discount to infrastructure charges on all projects other than residential.
Capita director Brian Boyd said while it was an excellent initiative, The Summit missed out because it has residential development in future stages.
Mr Boyd said the company would spend more than $12million on various council charges during the life of the project.
"It makes sense in an emerging community like this to bring forward development, because every approval has a shelf life," he said.
The company is asking the council to expand its discount policy to recognise its project and others that "are a significant driver of construction jobs" and open the area up to further development.
Mr Boyd said if the council included Capita's project, it would bring forward the start of the development, potentially to early next year.
The Summit is expected to be completed in seven to 10years and its masterplan includes 425 residential lots, a health precinct, car wash, childcare precinct and aged care facility.
"We have confidence in the sustainability of the Gladstone property market and we believe that Gladstone's property market has bottomed out," MrBoyd said.
"Based on recent statistics, we feel the local residential market will see greater activity over the next few years."
When the Brisbane-based company purchased the site at 749 Kirkwood Rd in 2014 there were already some development approvals in place. The company found the designs did not match the region's needs and worked with the council to revamp the plans.
Mr Boyd said local workers would be prioritised during construction and more than 100 jobs created when the shopping centre opens.