Rebirth of Darwin East gains momentum
Driven by major oil and gas projects, increased spending by Australian and U.S. Defence forces, and expanding Asian tourism, in the last two decades there has been a robust economy in the Northern Territory that has fueled the continual growth of its capital city, Darwin. Housing within the CBD of Darwin has also flourished as its younger population favour the ‘live, work and play’ lifestyle presented in this tropical city centre and a consistent supply of new buildings has been required to meet this demand. The limited and tightly held quantity of development land in the city has however caused keen competition for well-located sites, and $3000 – $4000 per square metre for vacant land has typically been paid for prime positions. To counteract this shortage of land in the CBD developers pushed the Territory Government into making more sites available for commercial and residential projects, and this became the catalyst for relocation of the Eastside tank-farm terminals to free up under-utilised land close to the city centre.
Re-development of the Eastside had always been a key part of the masterplan for Darwin and in recent years the NT Government has committed extensive resources into upgrading services infrastructure in this location. Undergrounding of major powerlines and removal of towers, increasing the electrical load capacity and modernization of the Eastside substation, installing NBN cabling, improving water supply volumes and pressures to meet fire requirements, and extensive replacement of stormwater and sewer networks are amongst the works undertaken in this area to provide developers with certainty about the capacity of services and to make the area visually attractive.
Today the Eastside is benefiting from this infrastructure expenditure and is rapidly transforming from it’s industrial past to become a vibrant and trendy part of the city. Contemporary architecture is now defining new housing, shops and offices in this location and it is expected that this ‘new look’ and the land opportunities will be a drawcard for future city investment.