Despite its history in Australian film and television as the rundown, bogan suburb in The Castle and Kath & Kim, Sunshine is the centre of major urban development by various property developers.
Around 70 hectares of development space available within Sunshine’s CBD, with 121,000 sqm of commercial space has been given approval across 13 sites, with 21,000 sqm of commercial space currently under construction.
The reason for the boom can be attributed to major infrastructure changes within the Greater Melbourne area, the regional rail link, widening of the M80 Western Ring Road and future Metro tunnel to be completed in 2026. The Melbourne Airport Rail Link and Suburban Rail Loop will all be completed in the coming years. Sunshine Hospital and Victoria University’s close proximity to the suburb, as well as a predicted surge in population tick plenty of boxes for developers.
Sunshine could potentially end up as a CBD in Melbourne’s west, similar to Liverpool in Sydney’s west. A state-of-the-art six-level office tower is to be built above Sunshine Plaza, with an additional seven levels of offices on Clarke Street, totalling approximately 11,000 square metres of space.
Four new 500 room hotels, law court upgrades and the redevelopment of Sunshine Plaza have also been proposed.
Commercial Property Specialist Andrew Dawkins from Dawkins Occhiuto says government funding is a major reason as to why development has spiked in the suburb.
“It’s got a low socio-economic background and it’s pretty ordinary when you go through it at the moment, but we believe there’ll be a lot of re-gentrification going on,” he says in an interview with Commercial Real Estate.
“There’s a lot of government support for that, too, with a number of grants on offer with the Sunshine Activity Centre they’re proposing. And the biggest thing that can’t be under-estimated for that area is the fact that it’s the junction box for so many train lines.”
Sunshine has been identified by the Federal Government as one of six National Employment and Innovation Clusters. Mathew Kent, Director of Office Leasing at Savills Australia - whose company is working in partnership with JLL on the commercial precinct above Sunshine Plaza - says this identification has it set to boom in coming years.
“Sunshine is proposed to become a major jobs centre in the west’s burgeoning economy. With an expected 79 percent of Victoria’s population set to reside in Melbourne by 2027, the swell in numbers means we can expect to see more people living and working away from the city – even more so in a post-COVID era as people adopt a more flexible lifestyle. It’s an exciting time for the west.”
“The precinct’s jobs and resident population is expected to double by 2050,” says Brimbank Mayor Ranka Rasic. “It has the land, linkages and location required to service the western region as a major employment and skills centre.”
Developments throughout the Sunshine CBD site will continue over the next few years as it continues to grow in size as a National Employment and Innovation Cluster. For more information on the developments, click here.