Toowoomba is experiencing a surge in commercial construction activity, having ended the 2016/17 financial year on a high note, thanks to new developments.
Toowoomba is in the midst of a building boom and commercial construction is the driving force behind this. The southern Queensland region ended the 2016/17 financial year on a high note, as the total value of approved buildings hit the $658 million mark. This represents a surge of 28.3 percent from the previous year, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This is no small figure, with the non-residential sector forming a major chunk of the pie. The value of commercial building approvals leapt by $184 million over the space of a year. But one real estate agent says this might not indicate a long-term trend. Mike Stewart, CEO of LJ Hooker Toowoomba, puts this boost down to the changing face of Toowoomba, in terms of new developments. “There’s a lot of projects that are in the pipeline for developing further infrastructure – we’ve had lots of applications for service stations in the last twelve months, as well as extensions to shopping centres,” Mr Stewart told The Chronicle. “I don’t think we’re seeing a long-term trend but we’re certainly seeing a lot of interest – there are a lot of people getting ready for what they see as a pretty strong market over the next few years,” he said. Toowoomba looks very different to what it did five years ago, thanks to an influx of infrastructure and commercial projects over the last few years. Many businesses have started construction in the area – largely drawn to quality industrial land and affordable housing. Mr Stewart said LJ Hooker Toowoomba are getting more enquiries from transport operators, people working in logistics and similar sectors. But the residential industry is not faring as well in Toowoomba, with approvals for houses and units falling by 11 and 20 per cent respectively. This comes as little surprise, as the entire nation faces weaker activity in multi-residential apartment and house building. Luckily, it’s a completely different story for engineering construction, with performance leaping by 22 per cent across the nation in the last recorded quarter ending in June. In Toowoomba, one massive infrastructure project is the Second Range Crossing, which started in April last year and should be completed by late 2018. The 41 km road project will provide an alternative crossing for heavy and superheavy vehicles, to relieve pressure on Toowoomba’s roads.
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