Nature of construction pivots across Australia: CoreLogic's Eliza Owen

Nature of construction pivots across Australia: CoreLogic's Eliza Owen
Nature of construction pivots across Australia: CoreLogic's Eliza Owen


Both the new project space and projects moving into construction saw a strong surge in the month of April.

There were 1,827 new projects captured by CoreLogic in April, up 7% from the previous month.

The combined value of these new projects were $14.8 billion, up 14% from the previous month.

Unlike the trend towards civil engineering that has played out in the previous 12 months, the increased value of development applications was largely due to strong increases in mining and industrial real estate.

The highest value application captured over April was the $3 billion Northern Gas Pipeline expansion in Western Australia.

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Nature of construction pivots across Australia: CoreLogic's Eliza Owen


Nature of construction pivots across Australia: CoreLogic's Eliza Owen

Moving into construction - Australia

There was a strong rebound in the number of projects moving into construction, which has been relatively subdued over the irst quarter of 2017. There were 1,090 projects moving into construction over April, representing an 83% increase on the previous month. There was a 64% increase in the value of projects moving into construction over the month, as $7.2 billion worth of work commenced in April.

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Nature of construction pivots across Australia: CoreLogic's Eliza Owen


Nature of construction pivots across Australia: CoreLogic's Eliza Owen


Nationally, April saw a pivot in the nature of construction across Australia, with a higher emphasis on industrial and mining applications. Meanwhile, New South Wales, in particular Sydney, continues to see a buzz of residential and accommodation activity. Major site activity includes the following:

• A site at Sarah Street in Mascot, close to Sydney Airport and with approval for hotel, has been purchased by a private hotel developer and operator. The site approval was for a hotel up to 9 stories, and 169 rooms. It currently supports two adjoining oice/warehouse buildings.

• Chinese-backed Adelaide-based developer Greaton has snapped up a site in Sydney’s Haymarket with the likelihood of constructing an apartment tower. The site is close to Greaton’s ‘The Ribbon’ hotel development at Darling Harbour, which is due for completion in 2020.

• Desane Group Holdings has purchased a 50-apartment, masterplan-approved site in Leichhardt. The original masterplan was approved together with adjacent Chinese developer Changfa’s 139-unit Epicure Collection project.

The Premier has given the inal sign-of for the relocation of the Powerhouse Museum from Sydney to Parramatta through the state cabinet. The site was identiied on the banks of the Parramatta River at the former David Jones Car Park site.

Newcastle’s iconic The Store site in Hunter Street will be redeveloped by Doma Group. The $200 million proposal comprises construction of a 13,000 sqm oice tower and two residential towers. The oice tower will be anchored by Government Property (9,000 sqm) for multiple NSW agencies. The oice tower will be built together with a bus interchange and car park. The residential towers will have 1,000 sqm podium retail space.


The Barr government has postponed a 2016 election pledge for a new community-driven master plan for the Manuka Oval precinct until at least the start of next year. Concerns have grown about a potential major development next to the oval. In the lead up to the 2016 election, the Barr Government claimed it would establish a panel made up of community representatives to help guide development in the area, following a failed bid by GWS and Grocon. However, the government has since shelved the plans, to be revisited once its planned multimillion-dollar media centre is built, which is not expected to be complete until January 2019.

A development application has been submitted for the irst stage Art Group’s SOHO project which will replace public housing in Northbourne Avenue, Dickson. The $92 million irst stage will comprise 409 apartments across six buildings of 7-9 storeys. The site was previously home to the Dickson Towers and Karuah public housing blocks. The overall development will comprise around 1,000 apartments in ive stages.


The Victorian Government handed down the state budget on the 1st of May. Education was the centre of the budget, with $1.25 billion committed to school upgrades over
the coming inancial year, on top of $2 billion proposed in the year just gone. Transport spending in the budget includes over $3 billion on road upgrades, most of which is allocated to the metropolitan.

$31.6 million was allocated in the budget for the redevelopment of Melbourne’s Australian Centre for Moving Image. The project is valued at $40 million overall, and will see the ACMI’s permanent exhibition upgraded as well as an expansion of the learning centre.

$461 million has been allocated through the budget for the redevelopment of Ballarat Base Hospital. The rebuild and refurbishment will create a new emergency department, modernized acute mental health facility, an intensive care unit, a women’s and children hub, an expanded critical care ‘hot loor’ and at least an extra 100 in-patient beds. The facility will see at least 18,000 more emergency patients and an extra 14,500 in-patients each year following the upgrade.

Also in the Central Coast area, Paul Lederer has withdrawn the development application for the multi-million Gosford Alive project. The Conybeare Morrison-designed project, comprised of 1,414 apartments and townhouses, was pulled due to planning delays. The delays were partly attributed to the merger of the former Gosford and Wyong councils into a consolidated Central Coast Council, and a State Government planning review for the Gosford CBD. However, the developer hopes to re-start the project at a later date.

Tenders have been invited for the $180 million West End lifestyle and retail precinct in West Melbourne. The proposal outlines 377 residential apartments over 4 buildings, each ranging from 7 to 14 levels. It will also include a 7 storey hotel, with 92 serviced apartments and ground loor retail spaces. Each building has had its own interior designer working with Chief Architectural irm CHT Architects. The buildings and designers for each are:

• The Adderley by Carr Design
• Mail House by Mim Design,
The Foundry by Six Degrees
the Spencer by Hecker Guthrie

Pound Road West, in Dandenong South, will see major upgrades to reduce congestion and travel time for commuters. This is a part of the Suburban Roads Upgrade package that aims to improve 22 key suburban arterials. 2 km of Pound Road West and Remington Drive will be duplicated, creating two extra lanes between Abbotts Road and South Gippsland Highway. A new bridge will also be constructed over the Cranbourne Rail Line. The project will include traic lights and safety upgrades.


Development approval has been granted for the Midtown Centre, a multi-million proposal in Brisbane’s CBD. The project involves redevelopment of two former government buildings into a single 26 storey oice tower with podium levels to accommodate cafes, restaurants and bars. Ashe Morgan and DMann Corporation will transform the two buildings with expansive campus-style loorplates with opportunities for large format tenants to occupy. The centre is expected to be completed by mid-2020.

Developer R&F has unveiled plans to develop an amended proposal for a multi-million dollar mixed use precinct
in Brisbane’s West End, which has previous masterplan approval for seven buildings and a total of 981 apartments. The project, to be staged over six years, will transform the former industrial riverside sites into an integrated urban precinct with publicly accessible open spaces, leading down to a riverside walkway.

PDS Group has submitted a development application for a 715 unit, 13 stage development in Mango Hill, designed by Ellivo Architects. The project will comprise 13, six-storey towers with extensive open space. The development will include exercise areas, a dog friendly zone and surrounding spaces for passive recreation, formal park area and seating areas with playground and barbecue facilities.

Gold Coast City Council has granted approval for EG Fund Management’s 55 and 71 storey, twin tower Wanderlust development in Surfers Paradise. The Elenburg Fraser designed towers will contain 500 residential units, 270 serviced apartments and 400 hotel rooms. The development will be located in the heart of the nightclub and entertainment district, billed as an ‘entertainment hub for south-east Asia’. Facilities will include a 4,733 sqm pool club with two main pools, 2,727 sqm of restaurants, and recreation areas such as rock climbing facilities and an outdoor cinema.

Approval has been granted by Brisbane City Council for Morris Property Group’s A grade, 28 storey commercial tower in Spring Hill. The commercial option was submitted following a previous proposal for a 30 storey, 197-apartment tower, owing to a perceived shift in Brisbane's property market favouring commercial over residential. Designed by Nra-Co-Lab, the design incorporates LED vertical strip lighting over entire length of building facade.


Acting Minister for Tourism and Culture, Eva Lawler, has now opened an Expression of Interest process for a nationally representative Reference Group. The group will help guide the delivery of the National Aboriginal Art Gallery in Alice Springs. The role of the Reference Group will be to promote and inform the project.

Local company Sitzler has been awarded the contract for the new $30 million, 24-hour Palmerston Police Station and Watch House with construction to commence next month and completion expected by mid-2019.

The Northern Territory Government has committed to improving housing in remote communities with the 10 year, $1.1 billion Remote Housing Program. This investment has a focus on local decision making, engagement and planning with communities to identify their housing needs. The project would ideally help to create sustainable, local employment and training, help develop Aboriginal businesses and encourage economic development. The investment is funded through four programs: Homebuild NT; Room to Breathe; Repairs and Maintenance; and Government Employee Housing.


Work is expected to commence on the Gawler Electriication project from Adelaide to Salisbury in the third quarter of 2018. Lendlease was appointed as contractor for design and construct in January this year, and design works have commenced.

The federal government’s Naval Shipbuilding College is now set to go ahead, following the appointment of a joint venture between KBR and Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII). The joint venture, known as the Naval Shipbuilding Institute (NSI) beat a bid from Babcock. Based in Osborne, NSI will establish and manage the college, partnering with ten educational organisations including TAFE SA, with Lendlease as managing contractor. It will operate under a "hub-and-spoke" model, with the college referring potential trainees to various universities or training colleges throughout Australia.

Community consultation is underway for redevelopment of Adelaide’s old Le Cornu site at 88 O’Connell Street, which has been vacant for decades. The City of Adelaide has oicially purchased the land and invited the public onto the site earlier this month for a community block party following inal removal of the fence.

Lyon Group's Riverland Solar Storage project has gained development approval. The 330 MW solar farm will comprise solar tracking arrays of photo-voltaic panels, mounted on steel frames. 400 MW of battery storage (ie 100 MW x 4 hours) is also included in the development, comprising lithium-ion polymer batteries, housed in a secure and climate controlled building.


Biomar Australia has submitted a development application for a $56 million state-of-the-art aqua feed production facility at Wesley Vale in Tasmania’s north. The former particle board manufacturing site will be converted into an aquaculture feed mill facility to include administration/ plant oices/lab & amenities, bio ilter, dosing silos, mixing/ intake building, processing building, packing area and workshop/store. The processing facility will have a capacity of 110,000 tonnes per annum of inished product.

Meanwhile in Westbury, Wiley & Co has started construction on Ridley Corporation’s $50 million aqua feed mill facility. The Mill will produce around 50,000 tonnes
of feed per year and will utilise the input of 250 local contractors during construction and when complete will source many local agricultural products.

Early works have started on Goldwind Australia’s 144MW Cattle Hill Wind Farm, with Hazell Bros engaged to undertake the site access construction. The wind farm will comprise approximately 48 turbines and is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.


Documentation is in progress with Aerodrome Management Services for the expansion of Jandakot Airport. The project will see the construction of taxi-ways, and the extension of runways through the clearing of 41 hectares of vegetation.

Selected tenders have been invited for Parallel Riverfront in Rivervale. Laudis Developments are proposing the $40 million project, with construction of a 13-storey residential development within The Springs Special Development Area. The proposal outlines 123 dwellings and four levels of basement car parking. Designed by Hillam Architects, the building will see features such as dramatic zig-zag cantilevers around each balcony, a podium base with pool deck, a tower section and a café on the ground loor. Tenders close mid may for the appointment of a builder.

A structure plan has been completed for the expansion of Armadale City Centre with approvals to follow late 2018 or early 2019. Works proposed include:

• Extending the Armadale to Byford passenger rail line as a part of the State Government’s Metronet program;

• Grade-separation of the railway line to facilitate Church Avenue;

• To move the Armadale Train Station underground; and,

• To create a City Centre plaza linking Jull Street Mall to the West of Rail Precinct.

A second stage of works to follow will include the Civic Precinct redevelopment, including high quality oice space to accommodate Government services and private business. The development will also include creation of a green and high quality public realm. Developments on the City Centre are expected to commence by 2020.

Construction has commenced on Rottnest Island for Pinky’s Eco Retreat & Beach Club. Builders appointed,
in joint venture, are Discovery Holiday Parks and Baileys Marine Fuels Australia. The $20 million project will consist of 83 eco-tents with ensuite pods. The tents will be connected via elevated walkways to Pinky’s Beach Club complex. The complex will be complete with a swimming pool, an alfresco bar and dining areas. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.


Construction has commenced on Iluka Resources’ $250 million Cataby mineral sand mine located in Cataby, Western Australia. The project will consist of 13 open pits over approximately 25 km, and will produce approximately 460 to 780 kilo-tonnes of heavy mineral concentrat per annum when completed. Production is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2019.

GR Engineering has been selected as the preferred contractor to design and construct a $90 million processing plant for Capricorn Metal’s Karlawinda gold project, to be located 65 km south-east of Newman. The scope of the contract will involve engineering, procurement and construction of a 3 million tonne-per-annum processing plant, and associated processing infrastructure at the proposed mine site.

Eliza Owen is Commerical Property Research Analyst at ‎CoreLogic.

Eliza Owen

Eliza Owen

Property market analyst. I hold a first class honours degree in economics from the University of Sydney. I have been a regular economic commentator on FBI Radio, and have been a guest speaker on Triple J’s Hack, 702 ABC Radio, Sky News and at TEDxYouth Sydney. I have provided comment for various media outlets including The Guardian Australia, the Australian Financial Review, Pedestrian TV, the Daily Telegraph and more.

Corelogic Eliza Owen

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