THE Queensland Government has announced that the Destination Brisbane Consortium – including Echo Entertainment - has won the right to develop the multi-billion dollar Queen's Wharf project in Brisbane's CBD.
In a statement last week, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the development of the 9-hectare site would change the city and provide iconic infrastructure that would enhance Brisbane's place on the international stage.
"This decision will mark the largest staged construction development in Brisbane City since the evolution of South Bank. "It will also mark the biggest change to the tired George Street Precinct since the construction of Parliament House in 1864 and the Parliamentary Annexe in 1979.
"This development over a nine hectare site will provide massive economic development opportunities for Queensland with the creation of up to 3000 jobs during construction and 8000 ongoing jobs."
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Destination Brisbane was chosen over a rival bid from a consortium that included Crown and Greenland because they were deemed most likely to deliver on the project's vision and objectives.
"The Destination Brisbane consortium's plans for public space set them apart Their plan for Queen's Wharf provides space for thousands of people to eat, shop, or simply enjoy Brisbane's subtropical lifestyle in South Bank-style open spaces and parklands," Dr Lynham said.
"The Government's strict probity and procurement processes have secured Queenslanders a development that will transform the city and bring exciting benefits to the people of Brisbane and visitors from regional Queensland, other states and internationally."
The Destination Brisbane Consortium comprises Echo Entertainment Group, operators of Brisbane's existing Treasury Casino, Far East Consortium (Australia) and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises.
According to the government, some of the key highlights from the Destination Brisbane proposal include:
- An iconic signature "Arc" building with a feature Sky Deck containing restaurants and bars;
- Five new premium hotel brands – three 6-star venues including the Ritz Carlton and Rosewood – providing more than 1,100 rooms;
- A new pedestrian bridge to South Bank;
- Three residential towers accommodating approximately 2,000 apartments;
- Around 50 food and beverage outlets;
- A riverfront moonlight cinema; and
- A Queensland Hotel and Hospitality School with TAFE Queensland.
Echo Entertainment Group Chairman, John O'Neill, thanked the Queensland Government and said the company welcomed the partnership to develop and operate "arguably the most significant new placemaking project in the history of the Brisbane CBD."
"Our commitment to South East Queensland is evident in the scale and quality of what we're proposing, including the relocation of our headquarters to Brisbane at the appropriate time.
"This is also the most significant investment ever undertaken by an existing casino licence holder in Australia and follows major redevelopment programs announced and underway on the Gold Coast and completed in Sydney."
Site works are anticipated to commence in 2017 and run until 2022. The next step is the public exhibition of a proposed development scheme for the Queen's Wharf precinct next week, which sets out the land uses, development criteria and infrastructure envisaged for the Queen's Wharf priority development area.
More information about the Queen's Wharf project is available from the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning website at <http://www.edq.qld.gov.au/planning/priority-development-areas/queens-wharf-brisbane.html>.
Images: Artist's impressions of Queen's Wharf development / Destination Brisbane Consortium.