The Townsville Bulletin
THIS may be the $150 million darling of Flinders St East. If it's given the green light this development will be known as Hayles Wharf on Flinders. Fortune Property Development Pty Ltd has lodged the only expression of interest for the development of two prime pieces of land which back on to the Ross Creek.
The development will sit in the heart of Flinders St East. It will cover two council car parks and two parcels of adjoining blocks on private land across from the Bank nightclub. The submission comprises five major elements including a 10-level office tower on the Denham St end, a four-star hotel on the port end, a serviced apartments building and a hospitality precinct at ground level with street and creek frontages.
There's commercial and public car parking spaces and a pedestrian boardwalk running the full length of the creek frontage and linking with the council's planned waterside pathway. It will also include a pedestrian bridge connecting to Plume and Palmer streets.
Sydney-based architect AJC is responsible for the designs. Fortune spokesman Peter Cardiff said Fortune had sought an architect who could bring fresh ideas to the Townsville region.
"We're very excited," Mr Cardiff said. "It's very much inspired by the sort of things you see in cities like Sydney and we are really pushing for Darling Harbour in Townsville. We very much want them (AJC) to understand the importance of having a development which relates to Ross Creek rather than just having a development that runs on to Flinders St East.
"What we are trying to do is create at street level, an opportunity for people to come from the (Flinders) street through the hospitality that's at ground level and go out on to the back of the deck – so it's trying to bring the water to the street."
Mr Cardiff said the architecture would contrast with the Heritage style of Flinders St East. "We very much believe it should be a modern development and contrast with those heritage buildings," he said. "That is the correct way to deal with heritage buildings, I think all the experts would agree that that's the appropriate course."
Fortune Property has estimated the project to take three to four years to complete with an overall value of between $100 million and $150 million.
Townsville Mayor Tony Mooney welcomed the submission. He said the development had the potential to provide an exciting boost to the CBD. "It is still very early days, but this is an exciting proposal which has the potential to deliver the wow factor we're looking for in the CBD," Cr Mooney said. "We will now be taking the process to the next stage to see if the proposal will stack up financially and meet the requirements of council in terms of public benefit."