University town taking shape

The latest development activity at the master-planned ‘university town’ at Sippy Downs on the Sunshine Coast is creating a community where residents can learn, earn, live and play.

Division 6 Councillor Christian Dickson said he was pleased to see so much action in the precinct with approvals for a shopping complex, child care centre and additional residential developments poised to join the already completed residential apartments, medical centre and road upgrade.

“The sod turning this week at Habitat Development Group’s Central apartments marks an important milestone for the Sippy Downs Town Centre, complementing the expanding university and surrounding education precinct,” Cr Dickson said.

“Comprised of 78 two and three-bedroom apartments over six levels, stage one of the Central apartment complex will provide additional accommodation options for the university’s growing student population.

“However, it is the combination of planned residential, commercial and civic developments that will help maximise round-the-clock vibrancy and usability of the town centre.”

In late 2014, Sunshine Coast Council approved a shopping complex that includes a Coles supermarket, specialty retail and commercial space and student-style residential accommodation at the core of the Sippy Downs Town Centre.

Councillor Dickson said the shopping complex, located opposite the University of the Sunshine Coast’s main entrance, would help to further diversify employment, bringing about 170 full time retail job opportunities and  250 jobs during construction to the area.

“It will also significantly add to the pool of affordable living opportunities on the Coast,” Cr Dickson said.

“Having people living in the heart of the Sippy Downs Town Centre will help promote growth of the commercial components by creating additional demand for these services.

“The recently completed $4 million Sippy Downs Drive project provides a safer and more functional travel experience along this main route.

“The Super GP Clinic that opened in early 2014, the recently completed 305-apartment Atrium residential complex and a child care centre currently under construction, provide much needed extra services to the Sippy Downs community.”

Cr Dickson said the proposed 965sq m, two-storey, architecturally-designed child care centre would be a welcome addition to this expanding university and education precinct.

“Not only will the centre provide much needed care places for up to 117 children, it will also add to the diversity of employment opportunities by creating an additional 17 jobs,” Cr Dickson said.

 “Our unique ‘university town’ vision for Sippy Downs is now being realised.

“Together, these developments are bringing us closer to realising the vision outlined in the Sippy Downs local area plan of the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme.

“Sippy Downs is becoming a vibrant and active town centre—an ideal place to learn, earn, live and play”.

These commercial and residential developments have contributed to Sunshine Coast Council’s latest positive development activity figures.

Sunshine Coast Council recently released figures that showed building approval values in the October to December 2014 quarter ($277 million) were 11% up on the corresponding period in 2013 and 121% up on approvals in the same quarter in 2012.

Approvals also included residential developments in Pacific Paradise, Palmwoods, Mooloolaba and Alexandra Headland as well as a number of commercial projects in the Kawana Health Precinct.

During the second quarter of the 2014/15 financial year, 610 lots from 64 applications were approved under the plan sealing process, with 75% of the lots resulting from 14 applications.

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