Sekisui House’s controversial West Village project may receive two new additional laneways, over 1,500 square metres of public open space and a “water play area” if the developer’s recent application to the Brisbane City Council is approved.
With the first stage of development currently underway, the 2.6-hectare former Absoe site has reduced its height and ground cover (which was originally 95 per cent) after the state government called in the development in September 2016 amid public outrage.
Located in the inner-Brisbane suburb of West End – an area known for being particularly divided on high-density development – West Village project director Andrew Thompson says that the additional public amenity and laneways will offer new experiences to both residents and locals.
The application provides for three main pieces of amenity, “The Common”, two laneways and a 1,532-square metre community space. The proposed laneways, “Factory Lane” and “Wilson Lane” will act as an interconnection between the two 14-storey residential towers that commenced construction in June last year.
According to Thompson, The Common will offer a water-play area, with in-ground water jets at the Boundary Street entry to the site.
“Grassed areas will provide a setting for viewing performances, picnics and small gatherings, and tall trees with a diverse canopy will provide a cool sanctuary full of colour and texture.” he said.
Factory Lane and Wilson Lane, will be the first of four laneways and will include deep plantings, landscaped market gardens and lighting, as well as a number of bicycle stands as they act as green “portals” connecting West Village’s buildings and its future public spaces.
The Common is an example of Sekisui House’s strategy to repurpose a historic landmark site, with the proposed space bringing a forecourt back to the old ice cream building.
“We are about to breathe new life into West End’s Ice Cream Factory as a residential and retail precinct, and The Common will be a cool, green entry statement that embraces the heritage listed building,” Thompson said.
The developer also plans to incorporate a community space into the West End development for public uses such as an art gallery, formal or informal educational seminars/lectures, conference or reception space, fitness classes, dance classes, theatre or cinema.
The end result will include another six residential sites, galleries, restaurants, retail and entertainment facilities.
Subject to approval by Brisbane City Council, West Village’s public spaces are expected to be implemented by the end of 2018.
Originally Published: theurbandeveloper.com
Brisbane ‘Eyesore’ Roma St Transit Centre Set to be Demolished
The old Brisbane Transit Centre, known as one of Brisbane’s ugly duckling sites, will be demolished as part of plans for the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail infrastructure project.
The removal of the ageing transit centre, along with the neighbouring Hotel Jen, will clear the way for a new underground station and the $2 billion Brisbane Live entertainment venue.
The Palaszczuk government announced in November that the Roma Street Cross River Rail station and Brisbane Live would “progress together”.
Treasurer Jackie Trad confirmed that early works will commence in 2019 with demolition planned for late-2020.
The Roma Street Station will be a key link between the city centre, Roma Street Parklands, Spring Hill’s schools, Caxton Street, the Petrie Barracks, Suncorp Stadium, and the cultural precinct at South Bank.
“When complete the new station is expected to be used by more than 230,000 commuters every week, the equivalent of over four capacity crowds at Suncorp Stadium,” Trad said.
“Plans for the 18,000-seat “Brisbane Live” entertainment arena are underway.”
Planning for the $2 billion “Brisbane Live” ultra-entertainment precinct is currently under way with consultancy firm Deloitte, and sport and architecture firm Populous recently appointed to mammoth project.
“With an 18,000 seat world-class arena as its centrepiece, the Roma Street precinct, just like the LA Live complex, will become Queensland’s premier entertainment venue hosting major live concerts and world class sporting events right in heart of the city,” Trad said.
More than $700 million was earmarked to build Brisbane’s Cross River Rail in the budget released last week, with demand for Brisbane’s rail services forecasted to double by 2026, and triple by 2036.
“This is a project that will transform the south-east by creating a turn-up-and-go transport system for the whole of South-East Queensland – taking thousands of cars off our roads and getting people home and to work faster.”
Brisbane City Council Scraps Aged Care Developer Incentives
The incentives, introduced in 2016, reduced infrastructure charges and encouraged the co-location of facilities on privately-owned sport and recreation land.
Lord mayor Graham Quirk said the “difficult decision” was due to sporting clubs becoming easy targets for political campaigns.
“Council will proceed without any proposed changes to sport and recreation land sites, as our priority is ensuring that the accommodation that we need to plan for the growth of our city can be delivered as quickly as possible,” Quirk said.
Earlier this year, Retire Australia’s controversial $80 million retirement living complex at the Tarragindi Bowls club was the first development approved under the Retirement Living and Aged Care Accommodation Incentives.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures shows 15.3 per cent of all Queenslanders are aged 65 and over, an increase from 12.4 per cent in 2011.
Property Council of Australia executive director of retirement living Ben Myers says politics, rather than planning considerations is disturbing the delivery of Brisbane’s seniors’ housing.
“All sides of politics acknowledge that we have an ageing demographic and that we will need to provide suitable housing now and into the future,” Myers said.
By 2025, Myers said the demand for retirement living accommodation for people aged over 65 is expected to double, to meet the housing needs of Queensland’s ageing population.
“To date the incentives have been successful in creating a pipeline of projects for Brisbane that will assist in housing our ageing demographic,” Myers said.
The Lord Mayor said council would begin consultation on the aged care proposal within weeks to fast-track the amendments.
Plans for $1.4 billion waterfront precinct progress
Dexus has proposed a redevelopment of Eagle Street Pier, including two new towers and up to 1.5 hectares of riverfront open space.
Dexus is progressing on its $1.4 billion redevelopment plan to unlock “the unrealised potential of the waterfront” in Brisbane.
The property group unveiled its plans to transform Eagle Street Pier, including building two towers, closing Eagle Street between Charlotte and Market streets and opening up the riverfront space, in March.
Dexus’s head of office development Queensland, Matt Beasley, said the response to the company’s announcement had been overwhelmingly positive.
“Since the announcement we’ve been having both town hall sort of sessions with our customers in our buildings, the retailers, getting them up to speed on what the proposals are, what is the process moving forward and when we would be targeting to get that outcome,” he said.
“We’ve acquired those assets and explored that opportunity and it’s really about unlocking the potential, unlocking the unrealised potential of the waterfront, really giving that back to the people.”
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