Developers lay low in Spring Hill
When you consider we’re at the doorstep of Brisbane CBD it’s incredible how long it’s been since we’ve had any new apartment construction in Spring Hill. It was 2009 when we last saw completion of a new apartment building, the “Bart Apartments” in Fortescue Street (pictured). With just 30 lots it didn’t exactly flood the market either and it’s now almost 7 years since this suburb’s largest residential development was finished, the 192 “Oxygen” apartments on Leichhardt Street.
There’s been activity in the CBD with a couple of new super-towers underway, developers persevering despite the market slowdown. And the Valley and South Brisbane are also busy with new projects, transforming those near-city areas too. So why are we missing out in Spring Hill?
Have a look around and you’ll see very little land available. Residential development of any scale needs big plots of land and there’s not many redundant uses any more. “Oxygen” and “Trilogy” were built on an old car yard, 1.3 hectares (more than 3 acres) of prime city real estate. None of those left. Character homes (pre 1946) are preserved – and in fact their land holdings are too small to make most residential projects viable anyway. There might be an old office building or two that are reaching the end of their lifecycle but for the most part it’s hard to see any new development happening in Spring Hill unless there’s a dramatic change in government policy.
We did notice that Roma Street Parklands is about to be handed from the state govt to City Council, so maybe those plans to sell off land for residential development at the end of College Road might be dusted off?