In the 70s and 80s, when Brisbane was being transformed into the Mini-Manhattan we now know and the Western corridor was exploding, almost all large developments were single use structures – offices, hotels or retail. This unilateral approach to development was encouraged by zoning laws which failed to contemplate mixed use development.
Thankfully, most big developments in Queensland now have a variety of facilities normally blending living, working and entertaining into one planned community. Examples of this type of development can be seen at the Emporium, Fortitude Valley, Southbank, South Brisbane and Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast.
These planned communities differ considerably from the developments planned and executed in the past. Nowadays a great deal of thought goes into the mix of businesses the developer wants to attract. Identifying a balanced mix of businesses will make office and residential lettings more attractive when tenants see many of their needs being met locally.
In addition to essential services such as parking, shopping and service businesses, the workers and residents also want restaurants, cafes and some form of entertainment. Most developers realise there will be a need for some form of liquor licence for these businesses, but do not realise that in Queensland an application for a liquor licence can be finalised long before completion of the project. In fact, once the relevant planning approvals are in place an application for a liquor licence can be lodged and the process begun.
Applying for a liquor licence in the early stages of a development has many advantages. The benefit to the property developer is that premises earmarked for use as a restaurant or bar are much easier to lease if the liquor licence has been approved in advance. Benefits to the prospective tenant include certainty on the availability of a liquor licence* and a reduced likelihood of objections to the application from residents.
To find out more about Liquor & Gaming Specialists’ services for developers call us on 07 3252 4066 or email Diarmuid Deans on firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Although it is unusual, we have come across situations in the past where an oversight in the initial development application omitted restaurant or bar from the list of approved uses. This is a problem for any operator but it is disastrous if the viability of the business is dependent on obtaining a liquor licence because, in Queensland, without town planning approval the application for a liquor licence cannot begin.