Inflated prices stifle projects

By REN LANZONrlanzon@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

DEVELOPER Steve Paton has a quality project which he can't get off the drawing board because of high building costs. And he is not alone.

"Building costs and valuers not keeping up with current market values are a major problem and they are holding up progress in Gladstone,'' he said.

Mr Paton is marketing Ilios, a nine level apartment block on the corner of Oaka Lane and Roseberry Street, which features two levels of carparking, 12 two-bedroom units, two 3-bedroom sub-penthouse apartments and two 4-bedroom double storey penthouses.

Mr Paton said he was keen to build accommodation for professionals, "but we won't if we have to cut corners''.

"We have had a lot of interest from people wanting to move in and we are also in final negotiations with a builder so this project will go ahead.''

Steve Matovic of architects Matovic and Partners, which is working on several projects in Gladstone, agreed that projects were being held back.

"High building costs and unrealistic valuations, along with such things as council and development charges but also banks requiring developers to show a 25 per cent return before they would lend, are holding back development,'' he said.

"Without those constraints Gladstone would be leaping off the ground. "Under those conditions, only those people who don't need the banks are able to develop projects and there aren't too many of them.



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