Brisbane is in the midst of an exciting period of transformation, writes Lord Mayor Graham Quirk.
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New iconic developments are beginning to emerge, heritage areas are being revitalised and major businesses are taking up residence – we have some great projects to look forward to on our horizon.
Council recently released our City Centre Master Plan, a vision towards the city’s future, with five priority projects identified including the Howard Smith Wharves precinct, Queens Wharf and William Street precinct, a Kangaroo Point Bridge, and revitalisations of Edward Street and Albert Street.
Another exciting transformative project that is set to get underway is a redevelopment of one of Fortitude Valley’s most iconic buildings.
The TC Beirne building, which links the Brunswick Street and Chinatown malls, was originally constructed as a department store in 1902 by Irish draper Thomas Charles Beirne.
Under this development application it will be transformed into a new hotel with some retail and commercial components.
This will be just one of several new hotels for Brisbane, with 575 new hotel rooms and 337 serviced apartments becoming available in our city this year.
Despite the new rooms coming online this year we still need more.
Recently I helped launch an updated Guide to Hotel Investment in Brisbane, a joint initiative between Brisbane City Council and the Queensland government.
It outlines that each year Brisbane is forgoing 121,000 visitors because we have a shortage in internationally-recognised, full-service hotel rooms.
Overall this equates to approximately 14 per cent of the current demand. New hotels will help our city to take up even more economic opportunities in the future.
Another exciting project is the reinvigoration of the historic Teneriffe Engine Room. The proposal includes a full renovation of the heritage building as well as installing a café and public amenities as part of plans to rejuvenate the riverside area.
The historic Engine Room was built around 1920 and originally housed mechanical equipment from the area’s former woolshed.
Sadly the Engine Room has been in a state of disrepair for many years and so council would like to make this building publicly accessible again.
The Brisbane community has said it wants more places along our iconic river to eat, connect, exercise and play and this proposal will certainly provide some of those opportunities.
The Engine Room proposal is currently open for public comment and more information is available at www.brisbane.qld.gov.au