South Bank Corporation has received an industry award for its development incentives for greenfield sites used since the early 90s on the South Bank precinct.
The Corporation scooped the Towards Best Practice Award for employing a number of financial and non-financial incentive mechanisms to build developer confidence in the precinct and mitigate risk, while at the same time ensuring that it shared in the dividend that it was confident would be delivered by its place making approach to development.
The award was presented to the Corporation’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Paul Herd by the Place Leaders Association (PLA) at a national workshop run in Newcastle from 28 to 30 March.
During the presentation he made at the award ceremony, Paul Herd explained that, when the South Bank precinct struggled in its early years to attract visitors and interest from property developers. Despite its proximity to the CBD, property developers, regarded the South Bank precinct with great trepidation as it was an untested market for retail, commercial and residential uses. Development in the surrounding area at the time was still predominantly low quality detached housing and commercial buildings.
To redress this situation the Corporation radically revised the master plan for the precinct. The new master plan was firmly based on the principles of good place making and urban design and central objectives was to reconnect the precinct to its surrounding community.
"It became clear in the early years of the commercial development phase that very little revenue from the disposal of the development sites would be achieved unless a new strategy was adopted.” said Mr Herd.
The Corporation was provided with a significant loan on commercial terms from the Sate Government to implement the master plan and add value to the development sites while also making the precinct more attractive to visitors.
PLA Chairman Dr Robert Lang commented: “The Corporation has created a world-class precinct, which adds value to the Queensland economy and positions Brisbane as a desirable tourist destination.”
“Against strong competition from other development authorities and local councils in Australia, South Bank Corporation won the award because it is at the leading edge in contemporary place making work and represents best practice in place making approach to development.” said Dr Lang.
Mr Herd said a range of innovative incentive mechanisms were also used to attract development to the precinct and the result is that close to 450,000m2 of development has been delivered and/or committed. The outcome is that the loan will be repaid in full by 2016 and the Corporation is also now the owner of a number of highly valuable commercial assets.
Created in 2010, the PLA Towards Best Practice Award Program recognises outstanding projects being undertaken by its members that are, or are aimed at, moving towards best practice in all facets of their operations.
Previous winning organisations include the East Perth Redevelopment Authority (EPRA) for its Redevelopment Scheme 2 (which provided a basis for development and land use control across the Authority’s six inner city projects), South Bank Corporation in Brisbane for Rain Bank, its Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse Centre, VicUrban for its modular housing construction initiative and Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority for its creative use of interpretation in some of Sydney’s biggest events.