Emerald development boosts region
A BRISBANE-based developer will break ground next month on a new master-planned community for Emerald, designed to "breathe new life into a community that has experienced unprecedented challenges".
Citimark's Highland Park, in the town's eastern growth corridor, will offer houses and villas on a range of 190 lot sizes and 145 townhouses priced to meet the market.
Local builders, tradespeople and suppliers stand to benefit from the Codenwarra Rd development.
"We have done a lot of research and we're looking at this project over a five to seven-year period," Citimark Properties managing director Robert Puller said.
"We are very confident in our time horizon where Emerald sits in the marketplace.
"We chose this location because it's flood-free and (for) its proximity to what is going to be a growing retail and lifestyle amenity around the Woolworths Central Highlands Marketplace, and it is just 800m to the CBD.
"We will be looking for local sales, but at the same time out-of-town sales.
"What we're building is a residential community."
The two-year lag between laying the groundwork for Highland Estate and watching on as the market deteriorated in line with the resources industry downturn hasn't dented Citimark's confidence in the project.
"Land prices and land sales have decreased (in Emerald), and all of that we expected because we have worked in these regional markets before," Mr Puller said. "We pretty much understood regional markets and resource-affected areas can have times when demand and supply get squeezed, so prices escalate to a level where they are unsustainable.
"But markets do find their equilibrium. We've developed in Gladstone, Rockhampton, Yeppoon and Mackay so we've seen it all before when markets become volatile.
"It is better to go in planning for the future instead of living for the day you do it."
Later stages may have a motel and tavern.