The first building in the new Maroochydore city centre is on track to be completed by September. Foundation Place will be the headquarters of Evans Long when it opens its doors in a few months, but that is not why the precinct is set to shine if you ask me.
Even before the coronavirus crisis, one of the big selling points of the project was its high-speed internet capability.
In fact, the city’s new undersea broadband cable will ultimately provide the fastest digital connection to Asia of any city on the east coast. It will also increase data connectivity with Sydney, both of which were always going to be of interest to national and international businesses.
Well, that was then and this is now – and I believe the city’s revolutionary digital footprint is likely to supercharge interest in the project. The city centre has already attracted a number of new businesses, keen to set up within its boundaries, including a Holiday Inn.
One of its main goals has always been the creation of work opportunities for locals, especially young people, and that will be more important than ever in the years ahead. Indeed, the new CBD is expected to create 15,000 permanent jobs on the Sunshine Coast as well as inject billions of dollars into the economy over the next two decades.
So, with the rapid change to how we live and work over the past few months likely to last even post-pandemic, one can’t help but consider the positive impacts for the new city centre.
Not only has the past few months taught us that productivity doesn’t have to nose-dive when staff work from home, it has shown us that big business can operate literally from anywhere, including desirable locations like the Sunshine Coast.
While no one knows how businesses will change in the months and years ahead, I don’t think it’s a stretch to believe that many will be considering whether they need their headquarters in overpopulated capital cities.
I’m sure many will be wondering how they might be able to reduce expenses, with sky-high rents for offices being one factor.
I don’t think the way that businesses operate will involve no office space whatsoever, because of the collaborative nature of ideas generation as well as the importance of staff social interaction.
However, when there is a new city centre taking shape, complete with high-speed data connectivity, in a location that also offers sun, sand and housing affordability, why wouldn’t you choose to set up shop there instead?