City Centre Lays Down Roots in Maroochydore


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Urban Square

The new Maroochydore CBD will spring to life in coming months, when more than 320 Hoop Pine, Moreton Bay Ash and other trees are planted in the first stage of the city centre development.

A tree-lined boulevard, shaded pedestrian areas, cycle and walkways and a 3500m2 public park will help transform plans for a new CBD into reality.

Landscape architect and Vee Design director Trish Menzies said the first phase of the project was eight hectares and incorporated the streets of the CBD’s core commercial zone as well as a large public square.

“Hundreds of trees as well as 12,000 shrubs and groundcovers have been chosen to provide a mixture of shade, contrast and colour,” Ms Menzies said.

“The main street will be a tree-lined boulevard and shaded pedestrian environment.

“Hoop Pine trees (Araucaria cunninghamii) will serve as gateways at each junction and mature trees will be planted at every corner to provide a splash of colour and accent.”

SunCentral Maroochydore Chief Executive Officer John Knaggs said the tree species had been carefully selected to ensure they could tolerate the coastal conditions.

“We have worked closely with the Sunshine Coast Council to select trees that are hardy and that exhibit a variety of texture, leaf type and colour,” Mr Knaggs said.

“Provision of shade in the urban environment was one of the most important factors in consideration for this project.”

Ms Menzies said planter structures housing a variety of trees and shrubs would pepper the pedestrian zone of the main street and would incorporate seat walls.

“These seat walls will help define the off-road bicycle path which runs the length of the avenue,” she said.

“The public square will feature a large central lawn and event space with shaded seating areas and an open shelter for events with signature lighting at night.”

Ms Menzies said a grove of Moreton Bay Ash trees (Corymbia tesselaris) would be planted in a raised area of one corner of the park, providing a cool place to sit.

“The park will also feature a copse of mature-sized Cabbage palms (Livistona australis) that will form a shaded urban forest leading into the open lawn area,” she said.

“At the other end of the park there will be a large open shelter with seating overlooking the lawn, ideal for gatherings and events.”

Ms Menzies said the design of planter structures throughout the first phase of the development drew on the distinctive aerial root formations of Pandanus trees.

“The Pandanus is a signature coastal tree with distinctive form and the shelters and structures reflect this,” she said. A key feature of the public square would be a wide curved pedestrian path in grey tones to match the pavement along the tree-lined avenue.

Mr Knaggs said the landscaping works signalled the start of a new phase of work at the CBD site with bulk earthworks completed last year and the $25m civil construction program well underway.

Around 95 per cent of the CBD’s underground infrastructure has been installed in the first stage of the project, including telecommunications conduits, water and sewerage mains and the underground automated waste collection system.

“Apart from landscaping, the next few months will also see the asphalting of the first new city streets, with construction of the first buildings expected to begin later in 2018,” Mr Knaggs said.

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