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Woolloongabba set for boom times

Jonathan Rivera, Colliers International residential research director expects the suburb to rival New Farm and South Brisbane as the new urban hub of the future.

"Out of any other suburb in Brisbane – Woolloongabba is going to lead the charge," said Mr Rivera.

"It will be the epicenter of residential living within the inner city over the next ten years."

Mr Rivera says Woolloongabba has until now had an "ugly duckling" reputation compared to other inner-city locations like Kangaroo Point and West End.

"It's the forgotten area of the inner ring and I expect it will become a hot spot for a new generation of multi-use developments," he said.

Developers are realising the potential of apartment living in Woolloongabba, with companies moving in to grab a piece of the action.

"Despite the doom and gloom in the property market – its one suburb that will shine," he said.

Unit prices have been headed skyward in the area with much more growth expected over coming years.

The Property Market Overview by Colliers International reveals the median unit price in the suburb jumped by an impressive 16.6 % over the past year.

At the end September 2008 the median unit price was $435,000 – a new record for the suburb based on 16 transactions, said Mr Rivera.

But there's still a long way to go.

"Urban renewal and town planning changes have created a very liveable vision for Woolloongabba," said Mr Rivera.

"There will be nothing like Woolloongabba again within a 10km radius of the CBD."

"The suburb has recently come under the spotlight of the Urban Land Development Authority – the same Council led team responsible for the rejuvenation of some of Brisbane's most popular inner city locations, including New Farm, Fortitude Valley and West End.

"The vision for Woolloongabba is to become a higher density mixed-use community, focusing on pedestrian and public space enhancements," he said.

He predicts more land will be converted to quality residential developments.

"The first stage commenced late last year – with construction starting on the $3 million Woolloongabba Streetscape Upgrade," he said.

Mr Rivera said it's one of the largest employment nodes outside of the CBD.

"There are two major hospitals in the area and the magnitude of infrastructure existing there is staggering.

"All that's needed is a spark to ignite the residential densification of the area.

"There are a lot of parties interested in Woolloongabba's transformation.

Infrastructure and Development

Major infrastructure improvements have been proposed for the Woolloongabba area. The most significant proposals include:

North South Bypass Tunnel

$2.1 billion 2 x 2 lane 10 km tunnels connecting South-East

Freeway, Gympie Rd & Gateway Arterial. Due for completion 2010

Eastern Busway

$601 million project has been proposed to link the Boggo Road Busway at Woolloongabba and the South East Busway at Buranda to Capalaba. Commenced 2008 Stage one due for completion 2009

Boggo Road Urban Village

The Boggo Road Urban Village will be a unique, mixed-use area including residential, retail, commercial, environmental research and recreational facilities. It will connect people to the future, the past, our city and each other. Commenced 2008 Due for completion 2010 +

Mater Hospital – Translation Research Institute & Queensland Children's Hospital (QCH)

Mater Hospital Refurbishment and Medical Research Facility – six storey building which will attract up to 650 new well-paid employees.  Development application submitted and tenders expected to be called. Also, the $1.1b Queensland Children's Hospital is expected to be relocated to the Mater facility with completion due 2014.