Logan City Council has declared Springwood as its first Economic Development Zone, offering developers one million dollar discounts on infrastructure fees in a bid to transform the suburb into a business powerhouse.
The discount incentive is one of a number of recommendations to come out of last October’s Springwood Summit, a meeting that sought ideas on how to jump start commercial investment in Springwood.
Other business-friendly moves proposed by Council include relaxing car parking requirements and supporting increased building heights for developments to turn the area into the City of Logan’s Economic Development Zone.
Mayor Luke Smith said the policy changes would give Springwood the best chance yet of evolving into a viable alternative business district for South-East Queensland.
“If we want to have a business district outside of the Brisbane CBD then we need to give investors the best chance possible of making their move to Springwood financially stack up,” he said.
“South-East Queensland needs us to do this too because we cannot continue to put money into hard infrastructure like train lines, buses and adding lanes to the M1.
“We need to spend that money on people, and by that I mean doing what we can to attract investment and jobs in Logan so people can work where they live.
“Right now 70 per cent of our residents leave Logan every day to work in either Brisbane or the Gold Coast,” he said.
“What was made clear to Councillors by our community in the lead up to last year’s election was that they wanted more local jobs; they wanted to work where they lived.
“Springwood is close to key highways that link our region and greater investment in public transport options for the area, including the extension of the South East busway, will certainly add to its viability as an emerging commercial centre.”
Planning and Development Chairperson Councillor Russell Lutton said discounting fees would give Logan the edge over other councils looking to increase their economic base.
“Springwood’s location, visibility from the highway and relatively mature infrastructure makes it a great candidate for revitalisation as an Economic Development Zone.
“That’s why Council is pulling all the policy levers available to it to support big and small business so they set up shop in here.
“Last month, we introduced deferred fees for large hotel developments in a bid to attract brand name hotel chains to the city and address our shortage of short-term accommodation options.
“These latest changes will provide incentives for developers constructing buildings with ground floor retail options for businesses like restaurants and cafes by discounting their infrastructure fees.
“If someone comes to us wanting to build an office or residential development that provides retail or dining options we are going to offer them a significant discount on their infrastructure charges.
“We want to see a change in the commercial mix in Springwood, a change that brings in more dining, retail options and apartment living so that it can be a self-contained community.