The next stage of Fortitude Valley’s ongoing transformation has begun, with Brisbane City Council recommending approval of plans for a new commercial office tower. The 23-story tower will encompass the first phase of an AU$500 million (US$368.5 million), multi-stage transformation of the train station precinct with the creation of a master-planned residential, retail, and business hub.
LaSalle Investment Management’s International Director Ian Mackie said the approval would continue the Valley’s renaissance as a business center and focus renewal on this formerly neglected part of the Valley. “We’re looking to create a safer, more vibrant environment, and breathe new life into the precinct,” Mackie said.
The renewal is expected to be particularly welcomed by the 15,000 rail commuters who pass through the precinct each weekday. The commercial tower on the corner of Constance and Alfred Streets will deliver a dedicated pedestrian entry to the site. The existing multi-level commercial car parking lot will be retained, but commuters will no longer need to walk through it to access the station.
The team is also planning the development of a 30-story apartment tower featuring 207 apartments and a dramatic refurbishment of the Valley Metro retail center. The aim will be to create a light, airy destination, with family style entertainment and new retail tenancies creating a seven-days-a-week environment, but work is subject to ongoing lease negotiations with Queensland Rail.
As a first step, construction of the newly approved commercial tower could start in the next 12 months. “We’re constructing an A Grade building with large 1,600-square-meter [floor] plates, and the council’s approval means we can now talk to a range of prospective tenants about the quality of the offer here,” Mackie said.
Architectus has been appointed to take the lead on the commercial tower’s architecture. Architect Colin Odbert said their designs respect the heritage value of the area while incorporating subtropical themes such as cool, shaded spaces, sky gardens, and covered lanes.
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