The final design for Brisbane’s Queen’s Wharf development has taken another turn with amended plans put forward calling for changes in the mega project’s residential precinct.
The $3.6-billion development—which has taken a significant footprint of the CBD—is well under way, with more than 5000 tonnes of steel, 41,000 cubic metres of concrete and 400,000 cubic metres of fill delivered so far.
The northern riverfront development will feature a new casino, the overhaul of heritage buildings, five new hotels with more than 1000 guest rooms, around 50 restaurants and a major retail precinct.
Proposed amendments to the original application have now been put forward by Destination Brisbane Consortium—which includes the Star group, developers Far East Consortium and Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook.
The alterations will affect the project’s residential quarter and predominantly involve changing the land usage, mix and designs of towers five and six.
Tower four will be the project’s tallest residential tower at 200m while the 49-storey tower five and 45-storey tower six—which were originally intended to be used hotel and residential operations—will now be subject to changes.
The new round of changes, submitted to Economic Development Queensland, now call for tower five and six—which were previously residential in nature—to be remixed to include commercial floor space.
Tower five is now proposed to be mixed-use and could contain commercial or retail space on the lower levels with residential in the mid and high-rise sections of the building.
Tower six opposite Parliament House, which has been reduced in size, will now become a commercial-only building.
The Cottee Parker-designed building will sit next to Cbus Property's 1 William Street, a 76,000sq m commercial tower currently occupied by the Queensland government, which was completed in 2016.
The push to diversify the hotel and casino development by adding new A-grade commercial elements comes as landlords scramble to reposition their CBD buildings to bring workers back to the city.
The Queensland capital’s vacancy rate grew to 13.6 per cent last month from 12.9 per cent in July, with most of the increase coming from reduced tenant demand during the second half of a pandemic-hit year.
Around 44,000sq m of new space is due to come online this year and a further 82,000sq m in 2022, adding to the pressure on a market that in the past six months suffered its lowest net absorption of space since January 2018.
The development has reached the fifth level of the 172-metre concrete structure known as a “diaphragm wall”, currently sitting around 20m above the Riverside Expressway.
Destination Brisbane Consortium project director Simon Crooks said despite ongoing amendments due to the possibility of shifting market conditions, the “integrated resort” was quickly taking shape.
“This time next year towers two and three, the dual tower for The Star Grand hotel, will be topping out at around 100m, meaning Queen’s Wharf they will be sitting prominently alongside and above the Riverside expressway,” he said.
“When complete, the Dorsett and Rosewood tower, which sits behind the Printery Building between George and William streets, will be around 200m and is expected to peak around mid-2022.
“And finally, topping out at 240-metres, Queen’s Wharf Residences is expected to reach full height in about two years, well after the hotel towers top-out.”
Early works for construction of the Neville Bonner pedestrian bridge began in March last year on South Bank and will be complete in time for the integrated resort development opening in late-2022.