“Brisbane City Council recognises that reviving local shopping centres is a key to making Brisbane’s suburbs more liveable – communities are discovering that suburban centres are more that just shopping precincts, they are Brisbane’s living villages,” said Brisbane Lord Mayor Jim Soorley recently, giving credence to an idea that many people have already realised and, if the statistics are anything to go by, thousands more will discover.
The Brisbane City Council-initiated Suburban Centre Improvement Projects (SCIPs) program, which began its city beautification in the latter part of last decade, is centred around reviving older suburban strips to create what the Council calls “Living Villages”, designed to be places where people can shop, work, socialise and relax in a location relatively close to where they live.
The program, which initially targeted suburbs such as Stones Corner, Bulimba and Sandgate, is now about to turn its attention to the southside’s Carina, and Nundah, on the northern boundaries.
Analysts report that most suburbs that have undergone the SCIP transformation have seen a corresponding increase in real estate prices as people flock to these new commercial hubs.
The Brisbane City Council has further cemented its commitment to the program by curbing residential development in several of the city’s older suburbs, to preserve their “old world” character.
Suburbs to be affected by the development restrictions include Ithaca, Woolloongabba, West End, Toowong and Indooroopilly.
Mr John Pappas, from PRDnationwide, said that these positive feelings towards some of the suburbs revitalised by SCIPs have often been reinforced through planned events such as street festivals.
“Property investors looking for potential growth areas should take note of the success of suburbs which have been able to transform their image, such as Bulimba, New Farm, Sandgate and Stones Corner,” he said.
“By searching for, and selecting suburbs where improvement projects are proposed – especially those which include plans to change the way a centre looks and functions – property investors may be better able to capitalise on the strong growth experienced in a number of older suburbs which are being revitalised.”
The Property Council has commissioned a Best Practice Case Study of Oxford Street, Bulimba, which examines the key components of the street’s renaissance, including the SCIP that began in 1996/97.
Copies of the Case Study will be available for purchase in the new year.