27k jobs created in $3b Stockland property bonanza
ONE of Australia's leading property groups has put its faith in the Sunshine State and will invest $3 billion in Queensland over the next decade.
ASX-listed Stockland, which currently has a $3.1 billion portfolio in Queensland, will seek opportunities across a range of sectors but will focus on "creating communities".
Chief executive Mark Steinert said Queensland was a core market which the group has "confidence in over the medium to long term".
"Our plan over the next 10 years is to invest another $3 billion in Queensland," he said.
"That $3 billion will not only be in line with our strategy of improving the quality of our portfolio overall and the growth prospects for our portfolio but it will drive 27,000 new jobs as well.
"Our purpose is to create a better way to live through development and that's about how we design and create connective communities, looking at things like affordability, design excellence, embedding sustainability into what we build, what we own and what we manage."
The diversified property giant is in the process of reweighting its Australian portfolio by divesting $500 million of non-core retail investments while seeking greater exposure to the booming logistics sector as well as the recovering residential market.
Mr Steinert said Stockland remains cautious on the Brisbane CBD office and inner city apartment market.
However, the company, which launched its 20,000-lot Aura development on the Sunshine Coast in 2015, is focused on the Queensland residential sector which is supported by increased population growth.
"We've seen interstate and international migration picking up and we think the economy is starting to improve off the back of the new mines that have been announced and infrastructure spending," Mr Steinert said.
"One thing that was really missing is the last five years in Queensland was consistent jobs growth and now you have growth in almost every industry. If the drought breaks that will be the last missing piece."
Mr Steinert said Stockland will focus on micro-development and "place-making" to create town centres, especially in its shopping centres.
"It's got to be more than retail. It has to be a town centre and it has to have an experience and offer services that you can't get online," he said.
"The focus will be on micro-developments like Lantern Lane in Stockland Cairns which has five themed Asian restaurants in a precinct that gives you the experience of being in Hong Kong. It's all about experience and convenience."