City's the place to be | Tony Raggatt | 23 May 2008
AN $80 million `eco' tower is planned for inner-city Townsville. Brisbane developer and former Suncorp executive Stephen Gosling announced the 12-level tower proposal yesterday along with news of his purchase of a 4040sq m site fronting Flinders St and Sturt St for $7.5 million. The site is partly vacant, where the former Wintergarden Theatre used to stand on Sturt St, while the Hollimans Arcade building occupies the property fronting Flinders St.
Mr Gosling, who has been involved in developments in Cairns and Mackay, is convinced Townsville is the place to be. "It's probably the most go-ahead place in Australia," he said. He added that the city centre where the $200 million Flinders Plaza retail and entertainment project would be developed was set for `enormous' revitalisation and renewal. "We want to be part of that," he said.
Mr Gosling's family company, Sterling Securities, bid for the site at 445 Flinders St late last year in a deal negotiated by John Quinlan of Knight Frank. Sterling Securities has also lodged an application with Townsville council to construct a 12 level, `sustainable' office tower on a 2500sq m portion of the site fronting Flinders St. The application describes the project as the city's first premium grade ecologically sustainable development.
Mr Gosling said Townsville was desperately short of commercial office space and that `445 Flinders' would provide 11,000sq m of A grade standard offices. The project aimed to achieve a 4.5 star Australian Building Greenhouse Rating certified design and highly rated Green Star Office design. Mr Gosling hoped to gain council approvals by the third quarter of 2008 with construction to start late this year for completion by late 2009. The tower would include 700sq m of ground floor retail and showroom area.
"The Flinders St site offers a great opportunity to create the kind of high-quality office project not yet seen in the Townsville city centre," he said. "It will play an integral role in the on-going renewal of the Townsville CBD where $2.5 billion in private investment is under way or planned." Mr Gosling said he planned to assemble a team of high-profile national and local professionals to help deliver the project and that it was likely major national investors would join the development team.
The project _ one of several major developments chasing demand for new A-grade office accommodation in the city _ is to be formally launched in June. Mr Gosling is a director of Central Properties Corporation, a company associated with the development Brisbane's Rivergate Industry Park and the Rivergate marina and shipyard facility.
Erm, it's actually bigger than your mudmap suggests. If you look at the render a few comments earlier, you'll notice that it actually butts right up to the old heritage building on the cnr of Flinders and Stanley Street - and it's probably safe to assume that the building on the right (on Flinders St) will also be included....I didn’t realize it would be so wide! Cool!