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Application lodged for $450M Toowong Town Centre development

A development application (DA) has been lodged with Brisbane City Council to construct a proposed $450 million Toowong Town Centre.

A development application (DA) has been lodged with Brisbane City Council to construct a proposed $450 million Toowong Town Centre.

The State Development Corporation and White & Partners Sydney lodged the application to develop the mixed-use precent across the 9000-square-metre site.

The developers plan to include retail, commercial, residential and leisure facilities, along with a range of services such as a childcare centre, gym and medical centre.

State Development Corporation said it had been looking for a major development site with White & Partners Sydney for five years and when the opportunity came to purchase the site from Stockland, knew this was the perfect location.

State Development Corporation’s Managing Director Ross McKinnon said the corporation has developed four projects in the western corridor and understand the Toowong area very well.

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“Toowong Village is a successful and well-managed centre and we are not trying to compete with this. We’re creating a completely different offer and an entirely new streetscape for Toowong,” McKinnon said.

“Most of the 150-metre frontage to High Street has been a blank concrete wall for more than 60 years. We now have the chance to create a whole new image for High Street and Sherwood Road.

“Inspiration for the design has come from one of the greatest outdoor shopping centres in the world, The Grove Shopping Centre in Los Angeles which incorporates the best characteristics of a high street in the one development. Brisbane has a similar climate to Los Angeles, and we believe the open street theme along with the open-air plaza is the perfect combination to enhance the existing Toowong area.”

The proposed site is where one of the first Woolworths supermarkets opened in Queensland, which began operating in 1956.

A civic plaza will be one of the focal points of the development, with the aim of providing the community a space it can identify with.

It will include a water feature that converts to a stage area and could be used for outdoor dining and food festivals, small concerts and community events.

“We see the plaza as being an ever-changing meeting area — an iconic location that changes from day to night, week to week, and season to season,” McKinnon said.

More than half of the site has been dedicated to public space to allow locals to take advantage of Brisbane’s sub-tropical climate.

The development design will encourage pedestrians to use the internal plazas and walkways as access, linking Sherwood Road and High Street to Jephson Street, Toowong train station and the bus stop.

“Many inner-city locations either have too much residential or too much office space. High residential areas are often quiet during the day when people go to work, and similarly office areas tend to become ghost towns on weekends,” McKinnon said.

“The mix of retail, office, residential, entertainment and the services we are proposing should provide a strong and active development.

McKinnon said the corporation has been working closely with Council over the past six months through the DesignSMART process.

“We decided not to proceed with the three-tower project that was approved by Council in 2016. The new design includes only two towers and we wanted to create more space to open up the site, providing the local community with more open and effective public areas,” he said.

“Our plans include upgrades to High Street with the building set back further from the street, allowing for a dedicated bus lane for the busy Toowong bus stop. Allowing buses to stop in front of our development without blocking the two inbound lanes will alleviate traffic in the area, especially during peak hour.

“If the DA is approved, our next step will be to seek expressions of interest from commercial and retail tenants.”

Timing of construction activities has not yet been confirmed as the development is subject to regulatory approval and commercial interest.

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