The final proposals for the development of Brisbane’s Queens Wharf are in – and they are stunning.
The two last proponents, Greenland Group along with Crown Resorts and the Destination Brisbane Consortium (Echo Entertainment Group, Far East Consortium and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises) have lodged their final design concepts for an integrated resort development.
Rivalry is noticeably fierce for the precinct which has been described as a “once in a generation” development opportunity.
The plans to develop the precinct follow the Queensland government’s decision to move public service offices to a new site at 1 William St which will see the area between George St and the Riverside Expressway vacant from 2016.
Greenland’s plan flags the city’s first six-star hotel and two new five-star hotels, setting the bar for luxury accommodation in Queensland. It also includes a new waterfall bridge to South Bank, a theatre to accommodate 2000 people, a sub-tropical public space with capacity for 8,000 people, a rooftop the size of the Gabba and a wide range of signature restaurants, including one headed by renowned chef Neil Perry.
Echo’s plans also envision the city’s first six-star hotel – the “Arc” building proposes a “signature addition” to the Brisbane skyline. Other features include a Darling Hotel, a Moonlight Cinema, a Sound Garden performance stage area with interactive urban sculpture and a bicentennial bikeway upgrade from Victoria Bridge.
The Queen’s Wharf development is expected to connect major parts of the city – the Botanic Gardens, the Queen Street Mall, the Cultural Precinct, South Bank, the Parliamentary Precinct and the Brisbane River.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney says the project will provide significant benefit to the state through tourism.
“The point was very strongly made to us by international tourist operators that this sort of integrated resort development is the emerging product in the tourism market,” Seeney said.
“We have a great many natural wonders which are great tourism attractions for Queensland, but if we are going to be competitive… then we have to offer a product that fills this segment of the market as well.”
A probity process for the development has been introduced to oversee the accountability of the development, which Sweeney said could take some time.
“We are keen to engage overseas interests, to ensure the state gets the best possible development.
“What we will deliver is an open, fair and equitable process with all potential bidders having the same opportunity to win the tender.”
The preferred proponent will be announced early 2015.
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