Why our CBD matters
Property is an industry driven by ideas. At the heart of any property transaction – buying, selling, building, developing – is a decision to invest in an idea. That idea could be, “I want a great home for my family in a safe location”. Or it could be, “I’m going to buy in a regional area because that’s where the next population boom will be.”
We all know that the property market in Geelong is thriving. That growth is based on several factors, but one factor is that Geelong is providing a solution to the increasing costs, congestion and over-population of Melbourne. In fact, Melbourne’s population is 4.6 million and currently predicted to overtake Sydney as our most populous city as early as 2036 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2016).
Geelong is perfectly positioned to be an appealing option to those looking for an alternate to Melbourne.
However, one issue that has been long debated in Geelong is the vibrancy of the CBD.
In the past three years, there has been significant private and public investment into the heart of Geelong.
We have seen significant development from private investors such as Gartland’s client Bill Votsaris. Bill has pursued a vision for Geelong’s CBD and brought together a collection of hospitality, retail and commercial offerings in the “West End” of Little Malop Street in a range of buildings he purchased. He is now investing in some significant properties in Moorabool Street.
We also have seen the ongoing transformation of Malop Street through the Revitalising Central Geelong Partnership (City of Greater Geelong / Victorian Government) through the ‘Green Spine’ vision. Significant numbers of trees and plants are being laid along Malop Street together with seating options to entice more feet on the street between our major retail malls.
All this investment has been based on a key idea – if Geelong is to be truly a thriving city, the CBD of Geelong needs to be functioning, colourful, entertaining and open for business.
In recent months, several new businesses have launched in Ryrie and Moorabool Streets including beauty and hair salons, a yoga studio, a retro gaming and cocktail bar, and a new cake bar. These types of businesses speak volumes for the changing face of the CBD and demonstrates a new era of on-trend startups. With a view to servicing mainly a younger market, these businesses can see Deakin’s growing student population and increasing professional services workers demanding more choice in the city.
Our CBD matters because a great city needs a strong heart. With more people, more often in the city, Geelong will continue to see increased investment and a wide variety of ideas to entertain and service the demands of our growing population.
Written by Michael De Stefano