The following key considerations arose from our recent event and panel discussion on Adelaide CBD’s property outlook featuring speakers, The right Honourable Houssam Abiad (Adelaide City Council), Ms Lily Jacobs (CEO - Renew Adelaide) and Mr Daniel Gannon (Executive Director SA - Property Council).

South Australia’s stamp duty reform

The immediate reaction to the stamp duty cut has been positive, providing the South Australian property sector with a competitive advantage over other states from 1 July 2016.  However, now that the dust has settled, there are questions being raised as to whether the decision to reduce duty rates over 3 years (rather than an immediate abolition) will dampen that competitive advantage. The real danger is the risk of a ‘handbrake’ effect on commercial real estate transactions over the next few years.

As the Commonwealth Government seeks to gain support for wholesale tax reform, other states will be looking to South Australia to gauge the impact of our stamp duty reforms.

Boosting vibrancy – the pop up vs. bricks & mortar argument

It is clear Adelaide needs a boost. Ways of promoting investment opportunities and putting Adelaide on the world-scale are a must. To do this there must be innovation and transformation. The past few years have produced the starting point in the form of food trucks and pop ups. Some have seen this as a threat to traditional bricks & mortar establishments. The challenge is how these traditional businesses can work together with pop ups and other innovative business models to enhance the value of their property investments.

Adaptive re-use

Adaptive re-use is a key aspect of Adelaide CBD’s current sustainable development. It allows disused and ineffective buildings to be properly cared for. However, there is still too much red tape to be overcome before the adaptive re-use concept is fully streamlined and utilised. While the many statutory planning and zoning regimes aim to protect heritage buildings, they are currently too heavily controlled and the red tape encompassing zoning controls and building codes, particularly around change of use, requires reform.

Projects in the Pipeline

Houssam Abiad from the Adelaide City Council highlighted that Council is also on board to boost investment in the CBD in the coming years. They have a $175m budget over a 10 year plan set out, with $35m to be contributed to asset renewal. The key developments in the near future will be the old RAH site and the Riverbank Precinct, but a push for development in the central market area is also being made.