Gabba projects lure investors


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A new underground rail station and redesigned stadium will drive property prices higher in Woolloongabba.

KEEN investors are following Queensland’s deputy premier into Woolloongabba, lured by new infrastructure across the inner city suburb.

The Gabba stadium is getting a $100 million facelift, the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project is building an underground station here and Brisbane’s first Hyatt hotel will be part of the new $700 million South City Square precinct.


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But while deputy premier Jackie Trad was forced to sell her property months later amid concerns over the timing of her purchase — one week before the government announced the winning bidder for the underground Cross River Rail project which she was overseeing at the time — new buyers are looking long term.

The Cross River Rail project is a 10.2km rail line from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills, via Albert Street in the CBD. It will include four underground stations and is due for completion in 2024.

“What we are seeing is a lot of redevelopment,” Harcourts Property Centre director and auctioneer Sam Devlin said.

Harcourts director and auctioneer Sam Devlin. Picture: Tim Marsden.

“Anyone buying housing in this inner city precinct in five years’ there’s going to be quite a good upturn.”

Median house prices in Woolloongabba increased by 2.4 per cent in the three months to $822,000, according to CoreLogic property data released in September.

The neighbouring suburbs of Dutton Park and Highgate Hill have seen median house prices drop over the same period, by 2.3 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively.

At auction on Saturday, a three-bedroom Woolloongabba worker’s cottage in proximity to the future Cross River Rail sold as an investment property in 15 minutes for $725,000.

The renovated Queenslander has pineapple and banana motifs throughout.

Two active bidders took the 5 Flower Street cottage to auction where it became the first Woolloongabba home to sell since Queensland deputy premier Jackie Trad confirmed last week she had offloaded her controversial Woolloongabba cottage.

Queensland deputy premier and treasurer Jackie Trad announcing apprenticeship opportunities on the Cross River Rail project in 2018. Picture: Claudia Baxter/AAP.

Fifty interested buyers looked through the 119-year-old Queenslander on a 304sq m block in the lead up to yesterday’s auction, with three registered bidders among 20 in the shaded backyard.

Established trees line the border of this 304sq m block, giving plenty of shade.

“Ninety per cent of the time, the opening bidder buys it,” Mr Devlin said to encourage an opening bid, which came from Cleveland local Derek Grewar at $650,000.

“It’s an evolving area,” Mr Grewar said after the auction.

“Look up the road at the infrastructure going in, and being so close to town. These are scarce commodities.”

Hyatt has chosen Woolloongabba as the site for its first Hyatt hotel in the Brisbane area, marking the return of a Hyatt branded hotel to Queensland. The Hyatt Place hotel will be part of the $700 million South City Square precinct which is down the road from 5 Flower St.

West End couple Elise Meakin and John Healy stood next to him and were the only other active bidders on the day.

When the property was announced on the market with Mr Grewar in front, Mr Devlin pulled on every emotional string to keep the auction moving.

The new owners signed paperwork on this table overlooking the gardens.

“We will sell the property today,” he announced to the underbidders.

“Can I tempt you back aboard? Not even for one more (thousand)? Surely you’re not going to miss it for a thousand. You’ll spend more on a good night out. I know that, you know that, we all know that. Put it into a house … Don’t be so defiant, sir. You need to buy real estate, get onto the property ladder. To buy the one you want you’ve got to stretch yourself.”

The West End couple looked united rather than defiant and, sticking to their game plan, made no further bid and the property sold to Mr Dewar for $725,000.

The large kitchen opens out to the back deck.

“That was stressful,” Ms Meakin said.

“But once we reached our limit that was it.”

The couple were looking to move out of their apartment and try suburbia in the inner city.

Mr Dewar was buying the property for his two eldest children who are currently working interstate and overseas.

“They’re going to come back to Brisbane and they’ll both work in town, so being here is really good,” he said.

“It’s an investment property for them.”

The sellers, Pip and Evan Goldman, were in the study during the auction and while they did make an adjustment to their reserve price, they were happy with the sale which saw their property increase by nine per cent ($60,000) in three years.

The study at 5 Flower St, Woolloongabba.

“We are moving back to Teneriffe,” Mrs Goldman said. “We used to live there for 10 years.”


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