The Fringe Precinct, which includes some of Brisbane’s most exclusive suburbs, is quickly becoming the new hub for creative professionals. Fortitude Valley in particular, is proving to be an area full of character and personality based on its unusual warehouse spaces and edgy offices. These buildings have been successful among owner occupiers who can see the potential such buildings can offer.
In general, the overall market is steady and enquiry levels have been fairly strong. In recent months there has been an increase in leases in Fortitude Valley, which is due to the availability of quality stock on the market. In Albion and Bowen Hills there is a mixture of quality offices that are leasing very well and some older style offices that are providing competitively priced opportunities for tenants. The majority of sales have been for freestanding office / warehouse buildings. Warehouse spaces in Bowen Hills have been selling as soon as they become available due to the benefits that come with a prime location.
In terms of rates, there is no evident pattern. Sales and leasing-wise, rates have softened due to natural market correction since late 2008, although in the last six months rates have stabilised. Regardless of prevailing market conditions, if there are quality office or warehouse spaces available, then there are strong leasing deals.
Several new developments in the precinct will significantly increase the popularity and prosperity of the area. The redevelopment of the RNA Showgrounds which is expected to be a 15 year project, will cost $2.9 billion and will create a year-round vibrant commercial, residential and retail precinct.
A significant residential project currently underway is the MacLachlan and Ann development, which is a 21-level residential tower in Fortitude Valley. This project will make a further positive contribution to the continued rejuvenation of Fortitude Valley.
Growth in the precinct is also set to continue with the Gasworks development at Newstead. The project, which is being developed by FKP, will set a new benchmark for contemporary lifestyle combining a sophisticated mix of commercial, retail and residential developments to cater the Newstead Urban Village.
In terms of road infrastructure, the Clem7 Tunnel has shown to have a significant improvement on local traffic congestion, improving access from Newmarket and Bowen Hills to the Southside of Brisbane. There is also Brisbane’s Airport Link tunnel which is expected to be complete in mid-2012. The tunnel will connect the city with the airport and bypass 18 traffic lights, thus reducing traffic congestion and allowing for better connectivity between suburbs.
The numerous developments planned in the Fringe Precinct offer unprecedented potential and inherent capital growth that is sure to be experienced by local owners.