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Adelaide - the billion dollar city

9 January 2017

Approvals for significant private sector developments in Adelaide broke the $1 billion mark in 2016.

The approvals by the Development Assessment Commission (DAC) totalled $1.12 billion for the calendar year, led by the Festival Plaza development which is on track to create hundreds of jobs in construction and then permanently as new retail, hospitality and office premises open.

The DAC operates as the single planning authority for approvals of projects above $10 million, making it a simpler and more professionally adjudicated process for investors.

All such developments must be referred to the Government Architect because good design is a fundamental criterion in the assessment process.

A pre-lodgement process is provided by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure with support from local government and other government agencies. This aims to ensure worthwhile projects are facilitated to navigate the DAC process as quickly as possible.

The 2015 and 2016 results are more than double the 2014 approvals and triple those granted in 2013 before the system was reformed. The DAC approvals only cover projects which are individually worth more than $10 million so the full total of private investment would be even higher.

The five projects approved in 2016 with the highest dollar value were:

  • Festival Plaza redevelopment with a development cost of $230 million
  • SkyCity redevelopment with a development cost of $175.4 million
  • 11-27 Frome Street and Lot 101 Synagogue Place with a development cost of $100 million
  • 322-336 King William Street (former Trims site) with a development cost of $84.6 million
  • City High School with a development cost of $70 million

The $1.12 billion of approved projects included three major projects led by the State Government. These were:

  • City High School with a development cost of $70 million
  • The O-Bahn City Access Project with a development cost of $38.3 million
  • The Torrens Rail Junction Project with a development cost of $12.2 million

Reforms to the planning system have aimed to stimulate investment and new housing, support infrastructure development, generate jobs and make Adelaide a more attractive place to live and work.

Reforms will be further enhanced as the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act – which was passed by Parliament last year - takes effect.

The update to the 30-year Plan for Greater Adelaide also will complement the attractiveness of investment in the city.