Greater Sydney Plans - Call for submissions

The Greater Sydney Commission’s draft Greater Sydney Region Plan (GSRP) outlines an update to the 2014 metro plan for Greater Sydney. The draft GRSP metro strategy has set out a bold vision and strategy for the future of Greater Sydney for the next 40 years to 2056. It is aiming to rebalance the city into a metropolis of three unique but connected cities; a Western Parkland City west of the M7, a Central River City with Greater Parramatta at its heart and an Eastern Harbour City.

The Commission has prepared its draft GSRP metro plan in conjunction with the State Government’s draft Future Transport 2056 Strategy and draft Infrastructure Strategy which were also released. The three reports in combination are intended to provide full integration of land use, transport and infrastructure planning.

The GSRP metro plan is to be implemented at a local level through District Plans and the Commission has also released revised draft District Plans. The District Plans will influence the process of land rezoning. When considering a planning proposal to rezone land or alter development standards including FSR and height, decisions by Local Government or other consenting authorities are legally obliged to be consistent with these District plans.

It is essential that industry stakeholders and land holders actively engage with the Commission as part of the District plan preparation process to ensure they are flexible and responsive to the market.

We look forward to working with our clients and colleagues to establish the land use implications and opportunities that the Metro Plan and future District plans present. The draft District Plans and draft Greater Sydney Region Plan are on exhibition until 15 December 2017. Please get in touch with us today to help make your submission.

September E-News

Message from the CEO

As we head into grand final weekend, it should be noted that this month MacroPlan has tackled some of the property industry's big issues.  Throughout September, our attention has been focused on; addressing the supply argument and Sydney's housing market, understanding the next business cycle, identifying how the health sector is driving new development opportunities and analysing Australia's luxury residential market. [Click here to read the full article]

The supply argument and the Sydney housing market

There is an argument out there, which defies the laws of gravity but keeps getting printed in our media, that somehow supply does not matter when it comes to housing. A report by ex-RBA Governor Glenn Stevens to the State Government earlier this year, provides a very succinct argument on why supply does matter. Stevens’ report looked at both demand and supply factors, 'highlighting' that Sydney, supply was the primary challenge. [Click here to read the full article]

How the health sector will drive new development opportunities

The health sector is not only the biggest employer in Australia but also the fastest growing. There were 1,560,400 people employed in health care and social assistance in May this year (Federal DOE data).  This is forecast to grow nationally by around 250,000 jobs in the period to May 2022.  Spatially, this will have profound impacts on urban development across Australia’s regions and cities.  So what does this mean in terms of the property industry? [Click here to read the full article]

‘Fast Five’ with Kieron Hewitt – General Manager, Project Management

Kieron recently joined MacroPlan in the role of General Manager – Project Management.  Kieron has extensive experience delivering commercial construction and refurbishment projects from 1,000sqm – 50,000sqm for both public and private clients, throughout Australia. Kieron has lead successful tender bids, consultant and construction teams on multiple highly technical multimillion dollar commercial projects. Ranked amongst Australia’s top 30 under 30 by the Property Council of Australia, Kieron is a highly valued Project Manager who is well versed in managing a diverse customer base, exceeding client expectations in a changing environment and meeting financial and business delivery targets and deadlines. [Click here to read the full article]

Autropolis: The Diverse Mobility Revolution

Brian Haratsis has scheduled the release of his latest book, Autropolis – The Diverse Mobility Revolution: How and when Automated Vehicles will transform Australia and why it matters. Autropolis will explain the potential nature and rate of change likely to result from the introduction of Automated Vehicles (AVs) and creates a context which accelerates the introduction of AVs. The timing for change is initially viewed in the book through two primary lenses; market driven AV transformations (the problem) and managed AV transformation (the solution). Autropolis answers the big questions such as how and when AVs will transform Australia, why it matters and planning for diverse mobility. [Click here to read the full article]

Australia’s Luxury Residential Market

Australasia has been identified as a strong-performing region for luxury house price growth, with Auckland, Sydney and Melbourne regarded as some of the hottest luxury markets in the world. The Knight Frank Prime International Residential Index (PIRI), tracks the value of luxury homes in over 100 locations worldwide including the performance of the world’s leading cities, coastal and ski luxury property markets. [Click here to read the full article]

Understanding the next business cycle

The big question for those wanting to invest in property has always been:

“Is there enough time and space in the market place for me to be able to buy and sell an investment property before the next cycle turns, or should I be out of the market now?”

While no one can perfectly predict the economic cycles, there are some indicators we can look to which help us to make an informed assessment of how the market is likely to track. [Click here to read the full article]

August Message from Michael Tilt, CEO

As August draws to a close, Spring is finally in the air! For Sydney-siders, the mark of the new season’s approach is the starter’s gun in the City-to-Surf, and that race was run just a fortnight ago. Meanwhile, Macroplan is doing its own larger circuit around the country, giving presentations on the newly released Census data. We’ve recently finished the ‘first leg’ in Queensland and are now rolling out presentations in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Providing key insights into the latest figures and designed specifically with opportunities for our clients in mind, the complimentary briefing sessions have been a huge success. I encourage you to contact us to organise for a briefing tailored to your own company interests.

One of the well-known trends detailed in the Census is the ageing of our population, and legislation currently before the Queensland government addresses an important housing choice of those in the older demographic. The Housing Legislation Amendment Bill proposes significant changes for retirement villages and manufactured home parks, including changes to pre-contractual disclosures for both residential forms.

Other amendments include a requirement for retirement village operators to prepare a closure plan, and restrictions on increasing site rent for residential parks as well as prohibiting administrative fees for the provision of utilities.

In other legislative news, the NSW Government is introducing independent planning panels in Sydney and Wollongong to provide consent authority for developments valued between $5m and $30m. The panels comprise four members, including three experts and one council-appointed community member, and they will improve the development assessment process by depoliticising decision-making. The Property Council has been advocating these panels for nearly two decades, and former Reserve Bank Governor, Glenn Stevens, also recommended the introduction of mandatory panels to improve housing affordability.

There is activity looming in Queensland too. Billing itself as a conference for the ‘creators and custodians of cities’ - which, I guess, includes most of us - Urbanity 17 takes place in Brisbane on 28-29 September. Given the theme of ‘A Decade of Urban Disruption’, our Chairman Brian Haratsis was an obvious choice of speakers for the conference since his most recent publication is titled ‘Disruptive Cities’. You can hear Brian along with a number of eminent Australian and international urban planners.

Those interested in what makes a great city need look no further than Melbourne. For an astounding seventh year in a row, Melbourne has taken out the title of ‘Most Liveable City’ in the world. Prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit, this year’s list of top 10 is identical to last year’s, and includes two other Australian cities - Adelaide and Perth. Melbourne scored 97.5 out of 100 in total, with perfect scores for healthcare, education and infrastructure. Perhaps it’s not surprising that Melbourne was the birthplace of Macroplan.

Michael Tilt


MacroPlan's Development Application Tracker

MacroPlan Dimasi’s national team actively monitor property development trends. For this edition of e-news, we look at the South-East Queensland market, specifically tracking ‘multiple dwelling’ applications in Brisbane City. Multiple dwellings under the Brisbane City Plan 2014 include apartments, flats, units, townhouses and row housing, but exclude duplexes. Interestingly, the supply pipeline of apartments (multiple dwellings) in Brisbane has been the subject of numerous articles over the past financial year – particularly in the inner-city. In this snapshot, we look at the market from a different perspective by considering the volume of applications submitted to council for approval. The spatial distribution of applications provides valuable insight as to where sites are being identified for development, even if those sites are for small-medium size developments, as land in Brisbane is increasingly scarce.

The map below highlights these multiple dwelling ‘hot spots’ for the past 11 months. In the current financial year-to-date Nundah is leading the way followed by the inner-city areas of South Brisbane and West End, however a majority of applications have occurred in the middle-ring, approximately 5-8km from Brisbane CBD. There are a number of reasons for this including supportive zoning around major activity centres such as Chermside and Garden City, as well as a greater availability of sites for development. This middle-ring trend extends over several years, including a large spike in June 2014 prior to the commencement of Brisbane’s new planning scheme on 30 June 2014.

If you are interested in property analytics or site identification, ask us about our DA Tracker or call us to discuss on 07 3122 8166 today.


DA Tracker


Christchurch….five years on

In September 2010 and February 2011, Christchurch was struck by two powerful earthquakes, the latter which significantly destroyed parts the city, in particular the city centre. In the months following the 2011 quake the New Zealand Government and the Christchurch City Council (CCC) formed the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) – which is set to dissolve on 18 April. Within the first few months CERA implemented an ambitious plan to rebuild the city centre through the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan (CCRP). MacroPlan provided retail expertise to CERA in the early stages of planning for the rebuild, providing advice around the potential scale, mix and configuration of the retail core around Cashel Street. The rebuild of the retail core was one of the ‘anchor projects’, of which there were 17, that were intended to stimulate growth and catalyse other investment and development across the city centre, and more broadly across metropolitan Christchurch.

The past five years… Delays in land acquisition, demolition delays and employment/resource availability has inhibited the redevelopment of the city centre and the development of most of the anchor projects. In the interim, commercial, residential and retail development activity continued (albeit somewhat subdued), just beyond the city centre and in the suburbs. Interesting retail concepts emerged (e.g. Smash Palace – a bar made out of disused buses), new housing was developed where the land was stable and the office/business park around the Christchurch Airport evolved considerably.

Fletcher Residential

With the virtual complete destruction of the retail core in the city centre, suburban shopping centres were beneficiaries of transferred demand that would previously have otherwise been captured by the offer within the city centre. While some centres required significant structural works, many of these centres experienced above average sales volumes in the years following the earthquake and there was also some new stock provided to the market.

That said, the green shoots of recovery were seen in the city centre not long after the earthquakes. The ‘temporary’ Re:start container mall has become an iconic tourist attraction and has inspired many new contemporary retail developments across the world. The New Regent Street precinct contains an eclectic mix of retailers, small businesses with a unique art deco charm; a boutique cinema opened at The Colombo shopping mall; and new bars opened up out of derelict buildings and industrial premises in the city centre and its periphery.New Zealand Fletcher Residential

The next five years… The redevelopment of the retail core (around Cashel Street) - which was considered as an important catalyst for the broader rebuild of the city centre - is now well and truly underway, with several major developments at various stages of development. This particular Some of the exciting new retail projects include The Terrace – a new food and beverage and commercial development near the Avon River which is due to open during 2016 – with additional stages to follow; and the $140 million The Crossing project - an exciting 14,000 sq.m redevelopment that will be connected to the Ballantynes department store, which is expected to accommodate 60 new businesses including international retailers (including the likes of Top Shop) is due for completion towards the end of 2016/early 2017.

Several hotel projects have been completed in the city centre and there are more on the horizon (e.g. Crown Plaza due to open 2017), yet hotel rooms are still in short supply. About 4,000 hotel rooms were lost during the earthquakes and with a booming tourism market and business related market, there has been, and continues to be, strong demand for new temporary accommodation facilities in the city centre.

The Bus Interchange was the first CERA anchor project in the city centre (completed in late 2015), and several other anchor projects are expected to be completed in the next few years or more. The 40,000 sq.m Justice and Emergency Services precinct is one of the larger projects set to be completed in the near future, which is due for completion during 2017, supporting in excess of 2,000 workers.The Crossing Retail Development

There are billions of dollars’ worth of projects currently underway or planned within the city centre and its frame over the next few years. More than 200,000 sq.m of new office and retail space is due for completion in the next few years, supporting an inner-city worker population of more than 15,000 workers, with the CCRP outlining a target of more than 60,000 jobs over the long term. More than 20,000 new residents are planned to be accommodated in the city centre by 2025, of which around 2,000 – 2,500 could be accommodated in the next few years in the $800 million Fletcher Residential development in the East and North Frame Residential Precinct.

In summary, while much has been achieved over the past five years, the next five years will bear the fruits of the hard work to date with many of the anchor projects expected to be completed or significantly advanced; key retail developments will be open; and increased residential, hotel and office floorspace will support day and night-time populations in the city centre.

MacroPlan has developed a detailed profile of residential and retail trends post-earthquake and continues to work on a number of significant retail projects across metropolitan Christchurch. MacroPlan also works extensively across the rest of New Zealand advising both New Zealand and Australian clients on retail assets/developments.

Contact James Turnbull, National Head of Retail today to discuss your retail property research requirements in both New Zealand and Australia.