The redevelopment of Brisbane’s last remaining city centre wharf site has begun, with construction of the $110 million Howard Smith Wharves Revitalisation project commencing last week.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the redevelopment of the 3.43 hectare site, which is set to feature a luxury hotel, park and public open spaces, would deliver a world class waterfront destination which would further enhance Brisbane’s position as a New World City.
“For many decades Howard Smith Wharves have been sitting disused, however, this dynamic project will unlock the historically significant site’s full potential as an entertainment and lifestyle precinct,” Cr Quirk said.
“This development, undertaken by successful tenderer The Howard Smith Wharves (HSW) Consortium, will deliver a five star, 164 room Art Series Hotel as well as parkland, a 1500 square metre exhibition space, restaurants and bars.
“The existing heritage-listed buildings will form a feature of the redevelopment and, once meticulously restored, will become home to lively river’s edge restaurants, bars, a craft brewery and function spaces.”
Infrastructure Chairman Cr Amanda Cooper said the parkland area would become a showcase inner city green space, welcoming a range of new leisure and lifestyle activities under the city’s iconic Story Bridge.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to reimagine one of the last remaining inner-city reaches of the Brisbane River, with dedicated rock climbing areas, cycling and pedestrian facilities linking to Riverwalk, as well as a new river’s edge amphitheatre seating area,” Cr Cooper said.
“Around 80 per cent of the total site will be public parkland and open space and will be easily accessible from Riverwalk, or through two new cliff-face lifts at Bowen Terrace and Wilson’s Outlook.”
HSW Consortium Development Director Luke Fraser said contracted builders were starting works this week with cliff stabilisation and relocation of the shared pathway, so facilities could remain open during construction.
“The HSW Consortium has been working closely with Deague Group who will be delivering the new Art Series Hotel and Hutchison Builders who are responsible for construction of new facilities and restoration of the heritage buildings,” Mr Fraser said.
“Works are planned for completion late in 2018, and we have already taken a large number of bookings for the convention and event spaces.”
HSW Consortium Director Adam Flaskas said that the project would deliver world class facilities with unbeatable river and city views.
“Waterfront event and exhibition spaces will be capable of hosting functions of over 1,000 people, with glass walls revealing views up along each bend of the Brisbane River and up to the Story Bridge,” Mr Flaskas said.
“An innovative urban agriculture strategy will see much of the produce used at the precinct’s restaurants and cafes produced on site in an edible landscape throughout the parklands. “Our plans include assembling some of the best local, national and international culinary talents, establishing high quality food and drink brands and hosting signature events.”
“We love living in Brisbane and the opportunity to work closely with the forward thinking Lord Mayor Quirk and his team to deliver this unique precinct for Brisbane, is an extraordinary opportunity”.
Deague Group Chief Executive Will Deague said the Howard Smith Wharves Art Series Hotel would be their eighth hotel and second venture into the Brisbane market.
“This five-star, art-inspired hotel will define a new luxury and creative experience that Brisbane, and indeed Australia, has never seen before,” Mr Deague said. “It is fitting that our most opulent hotel will be in Brisbane, Australia’s New World City and the country’s emerging artistic and cultural powerhouse.”
HSW Consortium will have overall responsibility for the entire site and is responsible for the design and construction of the park and open space areas, while the hotel development and operation will be undertaken by the Deague Group.
Access through the site to Riverwalk will remain open at all times during construction.