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Which Queen's Wharf Development Proposal do you prefer?

  • Crown/Greenland Proposal

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New Urbanist
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I figure this probably needs a thread.

Key points derived from the article:

  • 1159 William St - Old State library
  • A walkway would connect the hotel with the existing casino. - Above or underground?
  • 400-rooms
  • Will consist of a spa, nightspot, ballroom, four restaurants and all of Treasury Casino's VIP gaming facilities
  • The Brisbane revamp was aimed at luring Asian high rollers from state-of-the-art gaming facilities in Singapore and Macau - "With the property in Brisbane in particular, we're looking at really competing on the international stage"

Just as a comparison... Crown in Melbourne has 481 rooms over 39 floors, so this is just 81 rooms short of matching Crown Tower in Melbourne. OR 100 rooms more then Crown's Macau Hotel, so there is a possibility we could be looking at something just a little bit larger then the following:



$625m casino gamble on future of Queensland tourism with new hotels, gaming facilities

Steven Wardill and Josh Robertson From: The Courier-Mail December 11, 2010 12:00AM


A $625 million punt will be taken on Queensland's ailing tourism industry with massive renovations to three of the state's casinos.

New five-star hotels, prestige restaurants and improved gaming facilities will be added to casinos in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Townsville.

The Bligh Government will today announce it has struck an agreement with Tabcorp and the pub sector to allow an additional 500 poker machines into the two southeast Queensland casinos.

The total number of poker machines allowed in Queensland will not increase as they will be transferred from the pool allocated to hotels.

In exchange, hotels have wrung several tax concessions out of the Government for the loss of machines from their allocation.

Premier Anna Bligh last night said the investment was a sign of confidence in the state's tourism industry.

"This major redevelopment is a great leap forward for our tourism industry, providing yet another drawcard to our cities while boosting jobs in the construction and gaming industries," she said.

"Tabcorp's proposal is timely, particularly for the Gold Coast, coinciding with the Government's bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games."

The company would begin construction on the Gold Coast and in Townsville next year, Tabcorp spokeswoman Michelle Pillonel said.

It is planning a 400-room, five-star hotel on the old State Library site situated at 1159 William St, Brisbane.

It will be Brisbane's first new hotel in a decade. A walkway would connect the hotel with the existing casino.

However, the timeline for construction is currently unknown as Tabcorp are yet to apply for planning approvals and will be required to consult over the heritage character of the site.

The hotel will also boast a spa, nightspot, ballroom, four restaurants and all of Treasury Casino's VIP gaming facilities.

Ms Pillonel said the Brisbane revamp was aimed at luring Asian high rollers from state-of-the-art gaming facilities in Singapore and Macau.

"This will be of that kind of standard. With the property in Brisbane in particular, we're looking at really competing on the international stage," she said.

It would also add to the pool of high-end hotel rooms in the city, of which there are a "critical shortage", Ms Pillonel said.


The $350 million upgrade of Jupiters on the Gold Coast also includes a new five-star hotel, with 200 rooms.

The site will gain eight new restaurants and bars, a nightclub, spa and pool, beachfront club, a larger main ballroom and main gaming floor and new VIP gambling area.

Another $15 million will be spent on an upgrade of Townsville's casino.

Despite Tabcorp securing only half the number of extra machines it had hoped for, its $625 million cash splash matches the amount originally flagged.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser said: "No increase in poker machine numbers, new attractions and accommodation for tourism, and a massive investment to stimulate employment, is a win-win-win for Queensland."
 

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Isn't it 159 William Street? Theres no 1159 (I know you probably just copied that from the article SV). Not sure how big the site is OUTOFNOWHERE, but I think its fair to say, its very small. The building is on the Queensland Heritage Register but I'm not sure if that includes the 1950's extension? I think it would be fine to simply retain the original William Street facade (from 1879) and build a tower behind it.

photo by troy.benjamin on Flickr

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2285827002/
 

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How are they going to building something of that size on the State Library site? I think we might find that just keeping the facade won't be enough for this one, as it is a state government-owned building, and will probably remain so, like the Treasury Building (on a 99 year lease to Tabcorp). And I have a feeling that the 1950s extension is also part of the heritage listing, though don't quote me on that...

Whatever they have planned, I just hope it is as sympathetic to the State Library building as the conversion of the Treasury casino and hotel have been to their respective buildings...I don't want to see a Crown Casino-style building with the state library facade tacked on to the front!
 

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It'll be interesting to see how this goes, as though i'm for nice tall skyscrapers i'm not sure about the location - it's going to block views of the herritage precinct (treasury + land admin + old family services building) from south brisbane, and the public may not like that since it was one of many issues with the northbank plan.

as for the existing building, i believe the whole thing is herritage listed: the original building consists of the sandstone street-frontage facade and the brick main structure (it was rendered at some point, so although it looks like a later addition, underneath it is brick from the 1870's). The extension with it's mosaic is from the 1950's, and surely had some value.

I'm not really sure how you could fit a particularly large building on the site, without it extending over the freeway.

suppose we'll just have to wait and see, this could take quite awhile.

i think the perfect solution: buy out the empire site and the family services building, put the spa and retail in the later, building a tall thin accomodation tower on the former. evyerone wins.
 

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I agree totally with you Orfeo.

The proposed site is totally inappropriate - and I'm not saying that just because I live in Casino Towers!

As you said, this would totally change the nature of a key Brisbane heritage precinct, particularly as viewed from the Southbank precinct and this was a significant factor in much of the opposition to Northbank.

Of course the reason why the Casino wants this site is because it is prime riverfont land but your suggested 171 George/Empire option would be preferable by far.

The other major reason is of course that they wouldn't have to pay anything for the land as a large part of the footprint is public roadway space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
did anyone see this coming??
There were articles a few months back about Tabcorp spending some capital on its Queensland casinos and in particular a new Brisbane 5 star hotel.

I agree totally with you Orfeo.

The proposed site is totally inappropriate - and I'm not saying that just because I live in Casino Towers!

As you said, this would totally change the nature of a key Brisbane heritage precinct, particularly as viewed from the Southbank precinct and this was a significant factor in much of the opposition to Northbank.
Just wait until we actually see some designs... we have no idea what shape, form or even its approximate location will be.



- I'm wondering if it would be partly build over the REX? or just concentrate in that small footprint.

- Could be extended over to where I put the question mark?

- Also, there probably will be some NIMBY opposition to this... this is after all the site for a Northbank hotel.
 

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Heres a (2008) photo to show what impact this development might have on views from across the river. And what impact it already does have - you can see that the rear of the original section already presents a pretty unattractive arse to the river - not sure if it looked any better before it was rendered.

 

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I like the idea, and prepare to be dazzled. Tabcorp are also overlooking the huge $400 million upgrade to Star City Casino in Sydney which will vastly improve gaming facilities but also with dining. A new hotel is also under construction.



A big shot in the arm for Brisbane tourism. Treasury Casino is currently nowhere near rivalling Crown or even Sydney.
 

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It'll be interesting to see how this goes, as though i'm for nice tall skyscrapers i'm not sure about the location - it's going to block views of the herritage precinct (treasury + land admin + old family services building) from south brisbane, and the public may not like that since it was one of many issues with the northbank plan.

as for the existing building, i believe the whole thing is herritage listed: the original building consists of the sandstone street-frontage facade and the brick main structure (it was rendered at some point, so although it looks like a later addition, underneath it is brick from the 1870's). The extension with it's mosaic is from the 1950's, and surely had some value.

I'm not really sure how you could fit a particularly large building on the site, without it extending over the freeway.

suppose we'll just have to wait and see, this could take quite awhile.

i think the perfect solution: buy out the empire site and the family services building, put the spa and retail in the later, building a tall thin accomodation tower on the former. evyerone wins.
Wasn't there some proposal a while back to turn the family services building into a hotel? That would make sense and could include the treasury row shops on Elizabeth St instead of the proposed 20 story box of nothingness for the ATO. The old library could be used as gaming rooms and restaurants/bars.
 

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As much as I would love to see something like Crown Casino's tower in Brisbane, not at the expense of the old State Library becoming nothing more than a facade. And the mosaic on the extention from the 50's is an amzing art work, for anyone who has viewed it up close.
 

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Wasn't there some proposal a while back to turn the family services building into a hotel? That would make sense and could include the treasury row shops on Elizabeth St instead of the proposed 20 story box of nothingness for the ATO. The old library could be used as gaming rooms and restaurants/bars.
There was, but i'm not sure it was approved because of the modificatons to the building that were proposed, most notably the roof extension:

 

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I'll be very interested to see the design. I'm cautious regarding the heritage, however I'm not going to completely write it off until I have actually seen a design. The area behind and beside those buildings need some major improvement and I think it would be possible to build a tower there in a sympathetic way.

On the other hand I will be extremly disapointed if it is done to detract from the heritage of the buildings and I am worried about the bridge connection. I think a strengthened at grade connection would be preferable, however if an under-road connection could be achieved without affecting the foundations of the heritage that would be my second option. Those gamblers need some fresh air every now and again!
 

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^^ I wouldn't go that far. The casino and hotel as they currently are, were done extremely well. Very sympathetically towards the buildings' heritage value (in my personal opinion at least.)

I think that the Treasury Building it is the perfect location for a casino because, face it, where else would you find a casino in such a grand venue outside of continental Europe? It helps set it apart from the huge, modern casinos like Crown in Melbourne. Crown is amazing, don't get me wrong, but I think the Treasury has something about the building' atmosphere that I just couldn't feel at Crown.

After looking at SVQ1's aeriel map of the site, it looks to me that there could be space to the rear of the Old Library to build on, essentially wrapping the new building around the old. I don't know how well a large tower would go down, but it might work as it's wouldn't directly block very much of the heritage precinct buildings from South Bank (just Queens Gardens and possibly the Family Services Building, depending on the angle it is being viewed at.). What they could also do is build on top of the 1959 extension which, looking at the listing Oriolus posted, is also protected. I don't think they would be allowed to demolish that portion of the site, but building up above it might be alright...
 

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The state governments has cocked this up through a total lack of vision – but what’s new. With the construction of the new supreme court building that had the perfect win-win opportunity just six or 12 months away.

And they could have avoided dredging up all of the heritage controversy previously associated with Northbank. It will be all on again for young and old – Nimbys versus developers.

What they should have done is a land swap with the casino (they would relinquish their 99 year lease on the current site) and be offered in exchange the old supreme court site just a block up the road in George Street to build a multi storey casino and hotel, similar to the Crown Casino complex in Melbourne.

This site is much bigger, has the same can’t-be-built-out river views being adjacent to the REX and is in the middle of high rise precinct suitably distant from the heritage precinct.

The current heritage building housing the Treasury casino could be turned into high end retail similar to Sydney’s QVB or Melbourne’s GPO.

Also with also with a bit of vision the section of William Street between Elizabeth and Margaret Street could have been pedestrianised and made into an historic precinct/mall – a kind of mini version of Sydney’s Rocks area with an early Queensland colonial flavour.

Move the public service club out (they really don’t care where they drink so long as the beer is cold and cheap), and the registry office out of the old printery building, while the casinos training school currently in the old state library building could be provided for in the casino high rise.

Fill all of these buildings with a mix of craft and souvenir shops, cafes, pubs and historic displays. Use the mall for historic re-enactments and demonstrate trades like blacksmithing, coach building from colonial days and activate this dead end of town.

So we could have had three new tourist attractions for Brisbane:
- a new casino on a bigger, more appropriate, controversy free site
- a new high end shopping centre
- an historic precinct

Remember next time Vote 1 CapitolOz!
 

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If someone can dig up the old northbank renders then I'm pretty sure this one is in it, obviously things change but I'm pretty sure there was something of this size in those renders. I've also noted they're dropped allot of conduits under the RSE so I assume they're actually upgrading the lighting down that was aswell.

Edit - pics from old northbank thread, by SoulVisionQ1

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=11975822&postcount=373
 
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