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YEAR OF THE CRANES Featured
07 July 2018 Posted by 

YEAR OF THE CRANES

Dinosaurs graze on bricks and mortar
*Special report by Associate Editor Dallas Sherringham
THEyear 2018 will forever be known as “The Year of the Cranes” in Gosford and its surrounds.

It is the year when the coast finally cast off its “slumbering” reputation and became one of the nation’s booming new development areas.

Cranes have suddenly sprung up like some strange new race of dinosaurs across the hills and valleys of the region. But instead of grazing on grass and each other, they are grazing on bricks and mortar.

I use this analogy with some degree of expertise, because like so many human dinosaurs, I have waited almost 40 years to see the region finally boom and it seems to have taken an age.

The “big coast boom” has been talked about for decades, mostly by the Sydney media and fly in-fly out cabinet ministers keen to impress the locals with their glittering predictions of great things to come.

In truth, the coast has progressed in fits and starts, and some parts of it, like Terrigal, are virtually unrecognisable from even 20 years ago.

Others, like Woy Woy, Toukley and Wyong, are virtually unchanged.

Now, Central Coast Business Access is no apologist for developers. Like Central Coast Council and the State Planning Authority, we want to see only segments of the coast developed, with other communities remaining relatively untouched by growth.

Judging by the skyline, Gosford, West Gosford, Point Frederick and Terrigal are the home of the newly discovered “cranesaurus” mechanical species, with commercial, residential and mixed purpose developments popping up everywhere.

The headline acts are the St Hilliers and Bonython Tower complexes in Mann Street and the massive Gosford Hospital redevelopment on the traditional site adjacent to the station and golf course.

John Singleton’s Bonython Tower, at a cost of $35M, will include 56 luxury apartments, office space and a restaurant, café and bar, while St Hilliers will comprise a new commercial office building, with subsequent stages of mixed use residential and retail offerings.

Meanwhile, the $384M, 11-storey hospital redevelopment is now open in sections as work continues on new operating theatres above the main entry and a $36 million multistorey carpark.

Rumours continue to circulate that 400 spaces will be devoted to commuters using Gosford Station.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, with these and myriad other developments in and around the city centre, including the $72M, 15-storey Merindah Apartments which will become Gosord’s tallest building, set to attract new residents in droves.

For more than 20 years leading real estate agent Chad Knight has been a key player in property marketing on the Central Coast.

His Wiseberry Coastal agency enjoys a prime spot in downtown Gosford and is one of the first places prospective buyers go in search of their new home.

“I have never seen a period like this on the coast,” he said. “There are properties going up everywhere and many more are planned.

“However, it is still possible to pick up a bargain if you are smart and work with an expert.”

Central Coast Council has many major projects on its books. Many are underway, some are in the process of gaining approval and some have still to come to fruition. It has been argued that the boom was brought about by the “fast forward” attitude of the administrators installed by the State Government after Gosford and Wyong councils were forced to amalgamate.

The State Government, in a roundabout kind of approach, has attempted to ensure a flow of approvals with the establishment of a Gosford based Planning Authority for the region which has an unspoken veto over the workings of council.

It is an interesting approach; a kind of conciliation ensuring sensible growth is encouraged along the length of the railway and M1 corridor.

Most developments are sold off the plan, completely with glossy brochures, impressive artists’ impressions and even display units. And there are some good buys among them.

The bulk of residential apartments start at around the $500,000 mark with rents well above the traditional “1000 to one” comparison rate for rental return as against purchase price.

Fan out a little from the city centre and you will discover around 16 new developments approved for West Gosford providing hundreds more residential apartments and more than $500M in projects underway or in the approval stages in the previously rundown precinct of North Gosford.

These include a five-tower complex valued at $137.9M on a huge site at Mann St, Dwyer St and Hills St, which will consist of shop top housing, a café, restaurant and commercial space if it gets the nod from the Joint Regional Planning

Together with the planned expansion of Gosford Private Hospital, the plethora of residential developments on the horizon could see a revitalisation of North Gosford as an extension of the city centre.

Meanwhile, projects at Pont Frederick including a three tower $35M residential development and a $9.5M mixed-use development with ground-floor restaurant and 28 residential units, will see the city centre expand in the other direction.

Fan out even more and we see Terrigal also on the move, with the four-storey Elysium complex on the old Country Comfort Motel site set to provide 64 units.

And the cranes don’t stop there.

Sporties Club at Woy Woy is planning a $37M revamp which will incorporate five storeys including the club, 63 units and retails outlets.

Wyong Golf Club will be completely rebuilt and retirement units and facilities added  in a project involving the Royal Freemason Beneveloent Fund and Lakeside Shopping Centre at The Entrance is to be completely redeveloped into a twin tower project with a new retail complex and hotel, valued at $300M. It will have 318 residential units and 108 hotel rooms, in a 20-storey and 30-storey staged development.

 



editor

Michael Walls
Publisher
P: 0407 783 413
E: Michael@accessnews.com.au

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Central Coast Business Access (CCBA) covers the business and community issues of the NSW Central Coast region. CCBA is a prime media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities.