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The new Saints Rd Shopping Centre is expected to open within days. PICTURE: AAP/ROY VANDERVEGT

Salisbury in $400 million construction boom

NORTHERN Adelaide is going through a mini-construction boom, with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of medium-sized projects either underway or on the drawing board.

Salisbury Council says projects totalling $400 million have either been completed, are under construction or are awaiting planning approval in the region.

They include cyber security company VeroGuard, which is building a factory at Edinburgh to produce high-security encryption devices for global partner Microsoft and

DXC.

Other projects include a newly completed $10 million factory at Edinburgh Parks which will produce trailers, an $11 million rehabilitation centre at Salisbury and the new $16 million Saints Rd shopping centre at Salisbury Plain.

A council spokesman said a further $217 million worth of medium-sized developments were proposed, including a $20 million expansion of the Pooraka fresh produce market and a new $46.5 million retail, entertainment and leisure complex on Kings Rd, Salisbury South. “More than $400 million worth of private developments between $1 million to $40 million are either under construction, have received full approval, have planning consent, or are yet to go before council,” the spokesman said.

“Medium-scale investment and projects continue to be the unsung hero in Salisbury with thousands of construction jobs and ongoing jobs set to be created in 2019 through unprecedented investment.”

The spokesman credited business-friendly conditions in Salisbury and the council’s proactive approach for the record investment.

Further north, Playford Council has aggressively pursued new investment, especially through the creation of the new “Playford CBD” with a hotel, medical centre, government office building and multipurpose arena among its key features.

Much of the strategy was being personally driven by former chief executive Mal Hemmerling, who was sacked by the council’s elected members last month over a workplace dispute.

Dr Hemmerling, who is taking legal action against the council over his dismissal, targeted various medium-sized developments as part of his bid to revitalise the northern suburbs, ranging from a new tennis complex to a health precinct next to the Lyell McEwin Hospital.

Salisbury Mayor Gillian Aldridge said medium-scale development and investment “can sometimes fly under the radar” while public attention was focused on major projects like the Northern Connector, RAAF Edinburgh base expansion and electrification of the Adelaide-Gawler railway line.

Ms Aldridge said despite predictions unemployment would rise within Salisbury Council’s boundaries following the closure of GMH Holden, unemployment was around 7.8 per cent compared to 9.1 per cent 12 months ago.

“We are seeing a real boom in Salisbury and that shows there is a real confidence in the future of the region across a range of sectors,” Ms Aldridge said.

She said the council’s economic development unit was working with new and existing businesses of varying sizes “who want to grow and invest here, and the outlook is really positive with more investment in the pipeline”. “There are almost 1000 more Salisbury residents in work than there were a year ago, despite the area being the most heavily affected by the closure of Holden,” she said.

“We will continue to work hard to create employment opportunities for our community.”