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20 Dec 2021

New Office Tower Plans For Brisbane's Fortitude Valley

New Office Tower Plans For Brisbane's Fortitude Valley

New designs have been presented for a vacant property in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley, which was previously slated for a triple-tower residential and hotel complex, with the goal of boosting the daytime economy of the nightclub district.

W & R Property, a company associated to Tribune Properties' Tim Mahony and Andrew King, and NKM Holding's Tim Mahony and Andrew King, has applied to the Brisbane City Council to change the existing approval for the 3085sq m site at 186 Wickham Street.

A single 30-story office tower with an "inverted podium" over a ground-level plaza and retail arcade, as well as a low-rise five-story office structure fronting Ranwell Lane, are included in the designs.

“The proposed changes have been driven by the recent acquisition of the land and a shift in the demand for commercial office space within the fringe of the CBD,” the town planning report by consultancy Urbis said.

“In response to the recent sale of the site and a shift in market demand within the locality, the application proposes an alternative land use from the previously approved residential and hotel towers.

“The proposal seeks to stimulate the Valley Heart’s daytime economy and further activate a key part of Brisbane.”

However, while it reduces total site cover, it does so at the expense of a modest increase in gross floor area over the previous permission.

The amended project, according to the study, includes commercial floorplates "in keeping with market demand" and has a gross floor space of 36,137sq m, an increase of 1530sq m.

The development site includes the properties at 186 Wickham Street, 29 Ranwell Lane, and a portion of Mead Lane. It was once home to The Rex Theatre, which was built in 1903 and demolished in the early 1980s after a fire in the building's upper levels.

The Nettleton Tribe-designed mixed-use property, which will front the Valley's major entertainment strip, will be built in two stages if authorised.

“The expansive ground floor plaza and inverted podium, provides a grand entry statement into the development ... complemented by elevated greenery and a pocket park which fronts Ranwell Lane,” the report said.

“This approach has created a distinctive laneway design and inviting connection through the site.”

It also says the “inverted podium” aims to “reduce the overall bulk and scale of the tower form whilst providing opportunity for transparency through the ground floor plane and the Wickham Street entrance to enhance the adjoining heritage building”.

A wellness centre, end-of-trip facilities, art gallery, and a double-story landscaped terrace and outdoor space on levels 15 and 16 are also included in the project.

Since its approval in 2014 for a $150 million project that featured two residential towers of 30 and 23 stories with a total of 324 apartments and a 25-story hotel tower with 198 rooms, the Wickham Street site has been unoccupied.

Tim Mahony and Andrew King of Tribune Properties and LKM Holdings are also behind the $375 million Chinatown Mall office development at 31 Duncan Street, which just signed Queensland Urban Utilities as its anchor tenant.

Cornerstone's 28-story tower next to the McWhirters building, Empirica Developments' residential-turned-office development, and Zagame's nine-story office building on James Street are all attracting interest for office developments in the Fortitude Valley nightlife sector.

At the Fortitude Valley PCYC, Silverstone Developments is also working on a 12-story commercial tower.