Chinatown, Gold Coast
Coordinates: Gold Coast Chinatown is focused on Davenport and Young Streets, and includes the connecting laneways (Regent and Davison Lanes) and parts of Nerang, Garden and Scarborough Streets, Southport. Gold Coast Chinatown is an integral part of the revitalisation of Southport as an international CBD for the Gold Coast.
As Chinatown evolves, it will offer an authentic Asian experience and create a unique destination in the heart of Southport.
Chinatown is already encouraging Chinese and Asian tourists and fostering international relationships and investment, reinforcing the City as a destination to do business, be entertained, to live and be educated.
It provides a sense of home for the Chinese and Asian community that permanently reside on the Gold Coast. It also brings a sense of safety and community to the thousands of international students studying at Gold Coast universities, English language schools and colleges.
Chinatown will be a place for the Gold Coast to celebrate its diversity through culture, design, people and food. Chinatown will be an exciting mix of restaurants, cultural festivals and boutiques; a place of cultural indulgence and celebration. Chinatown represents the cities new world relationship with the Asia-Pacific region.
Chinatown Gold Coast Association
The Chinatown Gold Coast Association and precinct was founded by Dale Anderson, Manager of the Southport TAB. In January 2011, the TAB's Gold Coast Regional Manager, Dale O'Keefe concerned about the closure of many local businesses in and around the Southport TAB along with the loss of jobs, the lack of opportunities for local residents and the general downturn of the area met with Mr Anderson and encouraged him to come up with a solution that would bring employment growth, business investment and development back into the suburb.
Having lived near Chinatown in Fortitude Valley, a vibrant inner city suburb of Brisbane, Mr Anderson spoke to many of his customers in the Southport TAB and came upon the idea of creating a Chinatown on the Gold Coast as a way to revitalise the ailing suburb and fill the many vacant shops that were for lease in Southport and to encourage tourism into the CBD.
After months of door knocking and talking with local council and government representatives, business owners, landlords, residents, Gold Coast newspapers and local radio and television stations, Mr Anderson arranged the first ever Gold Coast Chinatown meeting in June 2011, at the time there were no Chinese and only a handful of Asian businesses established in Southport. The following month in August 2011, many of the Southport CBD business owners and landlords who attended the first meeting arranged by Mr Anderson formed the Gold Coast Chinatown Association electing an Executive Management Committee consisting of Chairmen Ted Fong, Deputy Chairmen Greg Walton, Secretary Dale Anderson, Treasurer Suzie Xu and Legal Rob French, in October 2011 the Gold Coast Chinatown Association was formally Incorporated.
The Gold Coast Chinatown Association was successfully awarded a grant by the State Government in 2013 to work with City of Gold Coast to develop a master plan for the precinct. The City of Gold Coast then developed the Gold Coast Chinatown Precinct Plan with the support of the Gold Coast Chinatown Association.
Sister and Partner Cities
The City of Gold Coast, through the Mayor's Office, has worked closely with the City’s sister cities and partnership cities to inspire the cultural embellishments of Gold Coast Chinatown. A number of Chinese delegations have visited the City to assist with cultural design ideas for the gateways, street furniture, decorative lighting and public art.
In 2013 four of Gold Coast Sister Cities were invited to attend an international design workshop to inspire cultural embellishments of the new Gold Coast Chinatown. Two delegates attended, including a delegate from Taipei City Government Department of Urban Development and a delegate from Zhuhai Institute of Urban Planning and Design.
City of Gold Coast is working closely with other cities to design and donate the Paifang and other public art for the precinct
Gold Coast Chinatown Precinct Plan
The Gold Coast Chinatown Precinct Plan was launched by the City of Gold Coast with the support of State Government and the Gold Coast Chinatown Association in 2013. The Precinct Plan includes the streetscape design, retail and events strategies plus investment attraction activities and management.
On December 2, 2014 it was revealed that Australia Fair shopping centre would spend $15 million refurbishing Australia Fair West turning the area of the shopping centre that fronts Young Street in Chinatown into an international Asian dinning and shopping precinct to compliment the Chinatown Project.
Cultural Embellishments and Paifang (Gateways)
Three Paifang (gateways) Harmony, Harvest and Wealth will mark the boundary of Chinatown and will represent the relationship with Chinese sister and partner cities.
In 2014 Beihai City provided an artistic conceptual design for the Harmony Paifang for the new Gold Coast Chinatown. The concept is in the Han Dynasty style, and has over 2,000 years of history in their region of China. Two towers will mark the eastern entrance to Chinatown on the corner of Young and Scarborough Streets, Southport. The City of Gold Coast is committed to delivering the traditional Chinese gateway, with installation scheduled for late 2015. This will be the first of three Paifang installed in Chinatown.
In 2014 Chongqing City and the Purun Group provided an artistic conceptual design for the Harvest Paifang for the new Gold Coast Chinatown. The concept is a large traditional archway and will mark the western entrance to Chinatown on the corner of Young and Garden Streets, Southport.
In 2014 Taipei City Government and the Chinese Institute of Urban Design held a design competition between five architecture firms for the design of the Wealth Paifang in the new Gold Coast Chinatown. The designs were presented to the City of Gold Coast to choose a preferred design. The Wealth Paifang will be located at the northern entrance to Chinatown on Davenport Street Southport.
A statue of the great Chinese philosopher Confucius was donated to the City of Gold Coast by Jining Peoples Municipal Government, China Glory Society, China Confucius Foundation, Shandong Provincial Glory Society and the Australia Confucius Institute. The Mayor officially accepted the statue on a recent visit to Jining City, which is the birth place of Confucius. The Statue of Confucius was unveiled by Dr Zhao Yongchen, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China, His Worship the Mayor of the City of Gold Coast, Cr Tom Tate and a representative of Jining City, Mr Xiandong Xu on the 23 January 2015. The statue has become a popular meeting spot and landmark in the Gold Coast Chinatown.
In 2014 Zhuhai City Government presented designs for a Shade Structure to the City of Gold Coast.
The City of Gold Coast is preparing to install a range of modern Chinese themed lanterns and three decorative lighting projectors in late 2015. The State Government has also contributed funding towards the installation of the lanterns and projectors.
The precinct is easily accessed by pedestrian and public transport. The new light rail (G:Link) is located at the Davenport St entrance to Chinatown, and brings thousands of people to the area each day. The G:Link connects Southport to Griffith University, the beach and entertainment districts of Surfers Paradise and Broadbeach.
G:Link (Tram): Disembark at the Southport Station, Nerang Street.
Bus: Contact Translink for bus transport options from different areas of the city.
Taxi: Contact Gold Coast Cabs.
Cycling: Ride your bike and park in one of the many bike racks around the precinct.
Car parking is available on the street and at the Athol Paterson, Mal Burke and Carey Park car parks.