Low house prices ground high-rises
LOW house prices are expected to keep a spate of residential high-rises grounded until at least late next year.
Toowoomba Regional Council currently has six high-rises with development approval on its books.
Two located in Ruthven St, part of the same development known as Le Jardin, were approved this week despite opposition from nearby property owners.
To be developed by Property Fox, they will be eight and nine storeys high, and will include 86 apartments.
Bernoth Holdings has approval to build an eight-storey high-rise on Alderley St, overlooking the Toowoomba City Golf Club, and a seven-storey high-rise on Ruthven St.
The Alderley St development will include 35 units. The Ruthven St property has a potential 32 units.
Meanwhile FK Gardner and Sons has approval for its $45 million, 11-storey Kitchener Apartments.
FK Gardner and Sons development manager Dallas Hunter, who is also Urban Development Institute of Australia Toowoomba president, said low house prices had a significant impact on the viability of high-density residential developments like high-rises.
Mr Hunter said with unit prices unable to compete with house prices at the moment, the Kitchener St project was on hold.
But he said it was inevitable that high-rise developments would become a common and important factor in Toowoomba's growth.
"If we want to get in-fill development that stops urban sprawl and retains the heritage and character of an area, we've got to go with high-rises," he said.