AN analysis of development economics in the Nowra CBD has found potential markets that could stimulate new growth in the town.
Development economists AEC Group was commissioned to provide advice to developers and Shoalhaven City Council on the financial viability of development proposals.
The study identified potential opportunities and markets that could encourage economic growth and development, including aged care/retirement accommodation, student, military and tourist accommodation, increased demand for government commercial office space due to decentralisation, strong demand for retail development and the possible leveraging of council-owned land.
However the analysis showed that in the current national and local economic climate some development may not be financially attractive to investors.
It found that currently higher density residential and commercial development appeared to provide less attractive returns in Nowra.
Shoalhaven City Council Strategic Planning director Peter Adams announced the study in May last year.
He said the economic analysis of the Nowra CBD would help identify future development scenarios and determine whether contributions to infrastructure, such as providing parking, act as a deterrent to development.
AEC Group sought comments from a range of stakeholders including property owners and developers associated with Nowra.
The report said that despite developer contributions to infrastructure in Nowra being comparable to and sometimes lower than other regional centres, development contributions had an effect on the returns an investor would receive on a project.
It noted other factors including construction costs, development application processes, local rental returns, cost of land in Nowra and fragmented land ownership.
The AEC Group analysed a number of potential development scenarios to determine the costs of developing in Nowra.
It also looked at the financial returns that might influence decisions by property owners and developers.
Mr Adams said a report from AEC Group would be provided to the members of the Nowra CBD Action Committee prior to its next meeting in April.
“Options and opportunities are being prepared for discussion at Nowra CBD Action and by the council with the objective of encouraging development, the economy and jobs,” he said.