Urban mixed-use development making a mark in South East Queensland

Residential and retail connected with community amenities projects are common in the South East Queensland market as consumers crave localised retail.

December 13, 2021

Well-established trends had been causing shifts in the retail sector much before COVID-19 started. For example, the move from retail-only shopping centres to mixed-use retail-focused assets has been one of the key trends. However, pandemic-led work from home (WFH) further accelerated this trend in urban centres. In the past two years, the importance of social interaction has grown within our communities. Consumers’ preference to shop locally has increased the popularity of neighbourhood centres, putting additional emphasis on local retail.

Developing residential and retail assets and connecting them with community amenities is common in South East Queensland (SEQ). The retail supply pipeline shows that most developments are part of urban mixed-use with a residential component. Retail-only projects are becoming less common, and we anticipate this trend to continue.

Figure 1: SEQ Neighbourhood & Sub-Regional Retail Supply

Source: JLL Research, 4Q21

Currently, there are no new developments in the regional pipeline for SEQ or nationally. It is unlikely that any new major retail projects will proceed over the near term, as landlords focus more on maintaining current occupancy and improving the quality and service of their existing assets. Outside of SEQ, AMP Capital recently completed an AUD-800-million re-development of Karrinyup Shopping Centre (Perth’s largest commercial construction project to date). Even there, the refurbishment/expansion embraces the trend of urban mixed-use with a residential apartment complex on the western side of the shopping centre, approved recently. This shopping centre will complement diverse offerings of entertainment, dining, wellness and retail.

A few notable mixed-use urban centre projects making their mark in the SEQ retail market include Yeerongpilly Green Riverside, West Village Shopping Precinct and South City Square. Of these, under-construction Yeerongpilly Green Riverside will offer a shopping and dining precinct alongside 83 apartments and 10 terrace homes. This AUD-850-million project is designed holistically to complement localised retail and respond to pandemic-triggered changing consumer preferences.

Likewise, when completed, West Village Shopping Precinct will deliver new residences, shops and community amenities. At least 30% of the site will be open to the public 24 hours a day, providing open spaces, laneways and arcades.

The South City Square development is in its fourth/fifth stage of construction and boasts al fresco dining areas, a full-line supermarket, speciality retail tenancies and medical amenities. A landscaped central park will connect all these facilities for its residents and the wider Woolloongabba community. The sixth stage of the project will include a hotel and office space on track to complete mid-2023. Now a seventh stage has also been proposed to include more residential units and extra retail tenancies.

The project pipeline highlights that mixed-use urban centre developments are becoming a common trend in SEQ. Residents rely ever more on localised retail for convenience and space for socialisation within their community. We expect this trend to continue while building momentum as retail evolves.