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Win News report says that the Grand Central redevelopment could start early next year finishing for Christmas 2015. I taped the report on my phone, i just need to work out how to upload it.

Finally it looks like we'll get some serious construction going on in Toowoomba!
 

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The DA had it coming in at around 88,000 sqm retail floorspace, so maybe the 200,000 figure includes carparks etc?
 

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Not sure. There's a snippet at the start of the newsclip of a notice saying the development involves around a net increase of around 30,000 sqm. I'm guessing that's the increase in retail floorspace.

In gross terms, the site is around 500m long and 160 wide. That's 80,000 sqm. considering most of the structure is 3 levels it's easy to see it get to 200,000 sqm gross floor area.
 

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I'm very impressed with the design and scale of this. Although how are they going to incorporate the train line that runs through the city? Judging by the image in the 3rd post there which looks like where the library is currently, it would be kind of weird having a freight train coming through there underneath the over pass right where the entrance is.

I wonder if they have considered the flooding through there also. The creek looks very close to the entrance in that picture as well...
 

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^^Maybe they'll landscape around the train line? I think trains only come through there in the dead of night these days anyway. Eventually trains from the south and soutwest will deviate around Toowoomba through Charlton, then that line will cease to be used, unless for public transport.

I've seen some suggest that this corridor could do well converted to a dedicated busway, then it's alignment through Grand Central would be perfect.

As for the flooding issue, i think developers only need to design for 1-100 or so rain events, although you're right, that entryway does look low and floods are regular through there.....
 

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This is amazing! Even in any of our capital cities, this would be a big project. But few outside Toowoomba have heard about it. Toowoomba really is a very under the radar and under-rated city!
 

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^ yeah you're right. It's a great place. Hopefully projects like Grand Central and the new airport both go ahead and create impetus for some other developments.

There's heaps of potential here.
 

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david jones must be on the radar for sure?? they might even get one or two of the 'brands' to anchor.. louis vuitton even?

are there plans to expand council chambers now with the amalgamations? they could fit a nice midrise between 'garden town' and the local council, there's just a carpark there from memory.
 

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I haven't heard of which retailers they're aiming for. As you probably know, there seems to be quite a bit of money floating around Toowoomba. Some high end retailers could probably work here. Having Myer, DJ's and Louis Vuitton in Toowoomba would be a huge boost for Toowoomba's image if nothing else!

I'm not sure about the council chambers. There's space around Town hall they could probably use. The space between Gardentown and Grand Central will be filled with the retail bridge with the library being moved to an as yet undetermined location.
 

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I thought DJ's had to have a catchment population of 300,000 before it committed? And Louis Vuitton really? If I take my rose tinted glasses off for a second :) is there really that much money floating around in Toowoomba when compared to say Mackay for instance and enough at that to sustain high end retailers? I wonder how Louis Vuitton is going in Cairns? the reason I say that is, they were looking into closing Myer on Sundays or reducing the hours because they weren't making money. Anyway i'am rambling on :)
 

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Although it's unlikely that they'll open a DJ store, Arreis is correct about the money in that area. There is a lot of 'old money' floating around, especially among farming families and descendants of such. I was in Toowoomba last week and theres is evidently still plenty of money around.

Regarding the Cairns MYER store, that was a rumour. Yes, MYER as a company did not fair as well last financial year but that hasn't translated to cuts in Cairns, nor was there any suggestion from the company that it would.

Also, the Louis Vuitton store in Cairns seems to be doing fine. It is held up by the cashed-up overseas tourists buying duty free (as it has been since it opened). In fact the high-end market seems to be growing. We now have two Ralph Lauren stores and a Rayban store. And all the other high-end stores are still operating and seem to have plenty of customers: Gucci, Dior, Aramani, Tag Heuer, Burberry etc.
 

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i mention louis vuitton because they're really pushing down market. they've opened up in heaps of shopping centres... wouldn't have dreamt of it 10 years ago. but thats where the money is.


My point is tho, with this shopping centre expansion, what shops are going to fill it??? or are they just going to have two of every shop that is already in grand central?? will the existing shops just transplant themselves to the new section??

Also, myer must being thinking of some store expansion plans with this development, i remember that people used to say that it's one of the most profitable floor space/revenue in the country.
 

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The floorplans are on pdonline.

https://pdonline.toowoombarc.qld.gov.au/Masterview/Modules/ApplicationMaster/default.aspx?page=wrapper&key=372707

It looks like most of the old Garden town is going to be converted to a 2 major retailers, a large and small supermarket and indoor recreation area with the balance taken up by smaller shops and a loading dock. Nothing that would seem suitable for a David Jones.

There seem to be little to no changes to the floor plan of the old part of Grand Central. I'm actually struggling to see where they're spending nearly 1/3 of a billion dollars considering that most of the structure is already in place.
 

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Rail link possible in four years

Chris Calcino | 1st October 2012 3:16 PM

Realising a $2.2 billion plan to build a railway tunnel through the Toowoomba Range could come sooner than expected - and so could an interstate freight line linking Brisbane to Melbourne.
The head of the Australasian Railway Association today told Mayor Paul Antonio the entire project could be completed within four years.
CEO Brian Nye said it was a matter of when, not if, the western freight corridor would finally become a reality.
The real thorn in the project's side has become the Toowoomba Range.
Mr Nye said the entire project would cost $4.5 billion to complete, including a $2.2 billion outlay for the range tunnel.
"The land for the corridor between Melbourne and Parkes (NSW) has already been bought," he said.
"The only real challenge and impediment is getting the tunnel through the Toowoomba Range.
"When you consider how much has been invested in things like the National Broadband Network (estimated $37.4 billion) and other projects and stack them up against the impact this will have, $2.2 billion is not a huge cost."
The Charlton Wellcamp Enterprise Estate would be a major point along the link, taking growing freight demands off the roads and out of the city.
If the tunnel is completed, it also opens up the opportunity to reinvigorate passenger travel.
Mr Nye has been visiting all councils along the route from Melbourne to Brisbane in an effort to get everyone on the same page.
Once consensus is reached, he said the rail industry would have a bargaining chip the Federal Government could not ignore.
A business case for the project is set for review between 2015 and 2020.
Mr Nye is pushing for it to be reviewed by 2013.
He said Queensland was dragging the chain when it came to rail - 88 per cent of freight between Melbourne and Perth goes by rail compared with only 5% between Sydney and Brisbane.
"By 2015 the amount of freight is going to double," Mr Nye said.
"Either we optimise our rail network or it will all go by road."


Mayor pushes for rail link
THE emergent Charlton Wellcamp Enterprise Estate forms the backbone of an effort to thrust Australia into a new golden age of rail.
There is no doubt the industry is wounded - decades of neglect and an ever-mounting reliance on road freight have seen to that.
But Mayor Paul Antonio is adamant the condition is not terminal.
He believes a clear vision that transcends Federal, State and Local Governmental frontiers could drive the country towards a railway renaissance.
Gaining support
Cr Antonio will meet in Millmerran on Wednesday with Goondiwindi Regional Council Mayor Graeme Scheu and Australasian Railway Association CEO Bryan Nye to do some "serious planning" about re-linking the disjointed rail line.
His dream would connect freight from the Port of Brisbane to Melbourne via the Charlton Wellcamp estate, bypassing the Toowoomba city, while boosting passenger transport "down the hill".
He is not the first person to talk about revitalising the industry, nor will he be the last.
But he wants to get the ball rolling.
"If we're going to use the capacity of the Port of Brisbane - which is severely underused at the moment - clearly we need a better rail link," he said.
"It would take some courage, but it needs to happen.
"There is already a growing grocery trade between Melbourne and Brisbane.
"If this were in place it would be a continuous 24-hour trip."
Show me the money
As our threadbare roadways worsen daily and successive governments continue to sit on their hands, Cr Antonio says there is only one way forward - private sector backing coupled with superannuation investment.
"In Toowoomba, even now, we're seeing private investment for building an airport - that money is sitting there ready to go," Cr Antonio said.
"On my recent (Council of Mayors SEQ) trip to Canberra, there was noise coming from both sides of government about relying on the private sector becoming seriously involved with building the infrastructure of the country.
"I'm sure it could make a lot of things happen.
"Australia needs this and and it needs it now."
Regional rivalry
The push for new rail links is by no means a stand-alone issue - the advent of a jet-capable airport in Toowoomba and the often-promised but never-delivered Toowoomba Bypass would go hand-in-hand.
Nor is Toowoomba alone in its bid to become the nucleus of the coveted freight line.
Cr Antonio said Southern Downs Regional Council had its heart set on taking that role.
The race is on, but the runners are still at the starting line.
"There is some talk it might be better to totally bypass Toowoomba and go through Warwick," he said.
"Toowoomba is the obvious choice that will work and will work well.
"I would suggest we are well-ahead of Warwick in terms of where we are today.
"I'm not sure how serious the competition is, but we would be happy to take it on."
source
 

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Source

Shopping redevelopment on track
MAYOR Paul Antonio says the $350 million redevelopment of Grand Central Shopping Centre and Gardentown will be completed under his leadership.

Cr Antonio and his colleagues are meeting with Toowoomba Regional Council's planners this morning to get an update on the progress of QIC Global Real Estate's retail development.

He said he was confident the project would be completed before the current council's term had ended.

That makes the deadline April 2016.

QIC Global Real Estate is planning to integrate Grand Central and Gardentown shopping centre, both of which it owns.

The development is expected to create about 1500 jobs during construction and about 1000 retail jobs once completed.

Cr Antonio said the council was committed to minimising the disruptions for retailers, business owners and residents once works had started.

"We've got to make sure we get it right in the best interests of the community," he said.

"While there is going to be major disruptions, we'll have a plan in place to avoid any major issues."
 
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