Urban Development Institute of Australia (NT) members are a resilient group of individuals, as is evidenced by their ability to survive and thrive through the peaks and troughs of the economic cycle that have characterised Darwin’s economy for a very long time.
It is critically important that development continues, albeit at a reduced level, through lean times such as we are currently experiencing. The reasons for continuing development activity will be obvious to many readers and include:
- Maintaining some level of employment in the industry (for construction workers as well as for a wide range of other consultants and professionals) to ensure that we do not lose all of our expertise and specific Northern Territory experience through a mass migration interstate;
- Enabling all levels of Government to continue with delivery of planned and funded projects that are important to provision of services to our population (for example shopping centres, police stations, schools, industrial developments and new housing);
- Providing jobs for Territorians who have specific skills and are committed to staying here for various reasons such as family situation, lifestyle or loyalty to the NT;
- Ensuring we have a base from which to start our economic growth again when things slow down in other parts of the country; and
- Demonstrating to potential investors from elsewhere in Australia or overseas that we are still open for business and have a competent, resilient and adaptable development industry which is ready to deliver the housing, business and industrial projects we will need in the future.
Examples of development projects which have commenced or continued despite considerable negative sentiment about our economy and the impending completion of the large Ichthys project construction phase include:
- The Makrylos “allure” five storey, oceanfront, boutique apartment development along Casuarina Drive in Nightcliff – the first new development of its kind along that route for over ten years;
- The Hutchinson Builders “Gateway Shopping Centre” in Palmerston which will provide an exciting new entertainment and shopping venue for this vibrant and growing city;
- The Tomazos 17 storey “Orion” Tower in Darwin which will incorporate four commercial tenancies, three levels of serviced apartments and nine levels of residential apartments;
- The Gwelo Coolalinga Shopping Centre development, which will provide a new level of convenient shopping and living options for our large catchment of rural residents;
- The exciting Halikos development of new residential and commercial properties at “North Crest” on the old Berrimah Farm site. The developers have been overwhelmed by the high level of interest in this project, for which ground work will commence during the first half of 2017;
- The likely commencement of construction of a new 14 lot subdivision by the Northern Territory Government’s property developer, the Land Development Corporation, at its East Arm development Darwin Business Park. The Corporation has noted an uplift in interest for industrial land and has welcomed two new additions at East Arm with Frontier Cement Supplies recently purchasing a property and Linfox close to completing the construction of a new facility;
- The continuing development of new housing sites at the greenfield suburbs at Muirhead, The Heights Durack and Zuccoli.
Despite the slowing in activity Darwin’s real estate market is experiencing, and an obvious oversupply of some types of products (such as two bedroom CBD apartments), the development industry is continuing to deliver products which will enhance Darwin lifestyles and living options.
History has taught us over a very long period that Darwin has always recovered from its economic troughs with strong periods of economic growth. So it is reasonable to assume we will soon be building our economy again - our development industry needs to be ready to adapt and commence delivery of the products we will require when that growth starts.
The Urban Development Institute of Australia (NT) commends its members for continuing to deliver innovative new projects and maintaining an active development industry at a time when it is critically important to show the world we are still open for business.
To view this article as it apeared in the NT News Business Review feature click here