Application lodged for Toowong Town Centre mixed-use development

Artist's impression of Toowong Town Centre Development
Artist's impression of Toowong Town Centre Development

State Development Corporation and White & Partners Sydney have this week lodged a development application for what would be known as ‘Toowong Town Centre’, a new $450 million mixed-use precinct.

Located on the corner of High Street and Sherwood Road, Toowong Town Centre is a 9,000sqm site that would accommodate a range of amenities activating the centre from early morning until late at night.

A mix of uses that are proposed includes retail, restaurants, bars, cafes, office, residential, leisure facilities as well as a cinema, childcare, gym and medical centre.

Designed by Nettleton Tribe, the development supersedes a previously approved Stockland application which was for a 3 tower concept. The new design includes only two towers and creates more space to open the site to the natural environment providing more public realm space.

Artist's impression of Toowong Town Centre Development
Artist’s impression of Toowong Town Centre Development
Artist's impression of Toowong Town Centre Development
Artist’s impression of Toowong Town Centre Development
Artist's impression of Toowong Town Centre Development
Artist’s impression of Toowong Town Centre Development

Project rundown:

  • Towers: 2
  • Storeys: Residential tower – 25, office tower – 20, theatre – 4
  • Podiums: High Street – 4-5 storeys, Sherwood Road – 4 storeys
  • Basements: 3 levels
  • Total number of dwellings: 145
    • 3 bedrooms: 31
    • 2 bedrooms: 89
    • 1 bedroom: 25
  • Number of theatres: 5
  • Floor area: Retail: 6,367sqm, theatre: 2,522sqm, commercial: 24,265sqm
  • Site cover: Approx. 50%
  • Plaza areas: Sherwood Road: 1,500sqm, High Street: 2,599sqm, total: 4,059sqm
  • Public accessible space: 4,904sqm
  • Landscaping: 10.1% site area
  • Parking spaces: Residential: 233, retail & theatre: 305, commercial: 305, total: 843
  • Basement parking: 606
  • Podium parking: 237
  • Vehicle access: Jephson Street – cars & heavy service vehicles, Sherwood Road – cars & vans

According to the Local Government Infrastructure Plan, one Urban Common is required to be built in the Toowong Major Centre area and provides an “indicative” rather than “specific” location for the Toowong Urban Common.

As a result, designers have provided 6 options for the location of the Toowong Urban Common with a recommended ‘Option 1’ located across from the site, in front of Toowong Village shopping centre as the preferred option, being the only option that can achieve compliance with both the Neighbourhood plan and the Local Government Infrastructure Plan.

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.

“We have developed four projects in the western corridor and understand the Toowong area very well.

“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,” State Development Corporation’s Managing Director Ross McKinnon said.

Subject site location of Toowong Town Centre Development
Subject site location of Toowong Town Centre Development

“The site was one of the first Woolworths supermarkets in Queensland, opening in 1956.

“Most of the 150m 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.

“Now more than ever, Toowong needs a heart — a civic plaza to give the suburb a focal point the neighbourhood and community can identify with,” Mr McKinnon said.

The open-air plaza will include a water feature that converts to a stage area. The plaza will be used for outdoor dining and food festivals, small concerts, community and special events. The plaza also allows continued easy access to the train station, bus stops and Toowong Village.

Toowong Town Centre Activation Inspiration
Toowong Town Centre Activation Inspiration

“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,” Mr McKinnon said.

More than 50 per cent of the site will be dedicated to public space, including open-air plazas and community meeting areas where locals can take advantage of Brisbane’s sub-tropical climate and lifestyle.

The retail component can be accessed directly from High Street, Sherwood Road and Jephson Street, providing easy street-level entry to the property. 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.

The mixed-use development will offer customers a 24/7 lifestyle where they can live, work and play in the one area.

Artist's impression of Toowong Town Centre Development - Light Well
Artist’s impression of Toowong Town Centre Development – Light Well
Artist's impression of Toowong Town Centre Development - Diffused Natural Light
Artist’s impression of Toowong Town Centre Development – Diffused Natural Light

“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,” Mr McKinnon said.

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

“We have been working closely with Council over the past six months through the DesignSMART process.

Artist's impression of Toowong Town Centre Development
Artist’s impression of Toowong Town Centre Development
Artist's impression of Toowong Town Centre Development
Artist’s impression of Toowong Town Centre Development

“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.

“An upgrade to the High Street and Sherwood Road intersection is also proposed to improve traffic flow,” Mr McKinnon said.

Artist's impression of Toowong Town Centre Development Commercial Facade
Artist’s impression of Toowong Town Centre Development Commercial Facade
Artist's impression of Toowong Town Centre Development Commercial Tower Recreation
Artist’s impression of Toowong Town Centre Development Commercial Tower Recreation

“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.

For more information about Toowong Town Centre, visit www.toowongtowncentre.com.au/

The development application for this project, available to view on Brisbane City Council’s planning & development online is A005434525.

14 COMMENTS

  1. As a local planning advocate in the area, I fully support this. Toowong is crying out for more public space and retail opportunities, as well as a “heart” for the suburb (ie. Town Centre). I especially support the idea of integrating the High St bus stop into the plan to improve inbound traffic flow on High Street. This seems thought out well and is looking really promising. Hats off to the developers. Hopefully this comes sooner rather than later as the current Woolworths Site is a visual eyesore. My only concern is the amount of focus on parking considering the amount of public & active transport (bus, train, ferry, active transport corridors) nearby. Also, will this development br looking to include a supermarket space? Toowong is in desperate need of a second supermarket as Coles Toowong is often struggling to keep up with demand, with over 15,000+ residents relying on that supermarket for their grocery needs.

    • I’m with you on this Jordan James.
      Toowong sorely needs an additional supermarket. At least one, and hopefully two.
      An above street level walkway to the train station would be desirable.

    • Totally agree with the above comments! another major supermarket especially an Aldi or another Woolworths. Coles my least favourite has the run of the area for groceries, is often really busy,out of stock,empty shelves and limited choice. I often have to go to indooroopilly shopping centre for my grocery shops, i would like to shop more in my area where i live.
      Having just moved back to Toowong after 27 years not much has changed much apart from the several new apartment complexes in the area but no new shopping spaces or supermarkets. Got to keep up with the demand and increase growth if you want to attract business and jobs.
      High st bus stop to improve inbound traffic flow on High Street is a great idea also with the pedestrian green bridge on its way will really help with flow and connecting to other parts of Brisbane. Having a open flow plan shopping space with less congestion areas for pedestrians too as Toowong village gets and is getting busier so we avoid.It will be great to for jobs In Toowong to, its a win win situation..

    • Toowong really needs another supermarket and some more quality shops. It will be great for the area and a cinema will give people something different to do in the evenings as well.

  2. We are a national sign company and would like to show an interest in this up coming project for all it’s signage requirements ranging from way finding signs,building signage any visual glass works etc.
    Please don’t hesitate to contact us when Tender forms become available.
    Thanking You
    Paul Baker.

  3. Totally agree with the above comments, Toowong needs another major supermarket especially an Aldi or another Woolworths or both. Coles has the run of the area for groceries, is often really busy,out of stock,empty shelves and limited choice. I often have to go to indooroopilly shopping centre for my grocery shops, i would like to shop more in my area where i live.
    Having just moved back to Toowong after 27 years not much has changed much apart from the several new apartment complexes in the area but no new shopping spaces or supermarkets.Having a open flow plan shopping space with less congestion areas for pedestrians too as Toowong village gets and is getting busier so we avoid.It will be great for the area, its a win win situation.

    • I hope a Aldi supermarket is in the plan and a good asian supermarket with lots of choices and a officeworks. The corona virus exposed that we need more supermarkets and basic necessities shops. I like the open plan concept and anything to ease pedestrian and traffic the better. Really hope this goes ahead in the near future.

  4. Development of this site is welcome, but the urban design is poor. It turns the site inwards and creates a worse environment for walking in Sherwood Road and High Street. There needs to be more activity and active frontages around the edges (including the second and third storeys) – there are some shops on High Street, but above ground level it’s just a blank wall.

    The plaza means the edge to Sherwood Road has little interest for pedestrians, there are no shops to encourage people to walk along Sherwood Road. Often plazas are included with the best of intentions, but people don’t actually like blank open spaces as a place to linger.

    The current design will mean Toowong will be more choked with cars and the streets will be less interesting and more dangerous to walk along and cross. The multiple vehicle entrances and widened intersection discourage walking from the surrounding area and encourage faster (and more dangerous) driving.

    There’s an opportunity here to get a really good outcome worthy of an aspiring world city. The current design would not get off the ground in Sydney or Melbourne, it is not fine-grained enough, the streetscapes are relatively boring and cars are still too dominant.

    We can do better!

    • Tim,

      I absolutely agree. Developing this site is more than welcome and encouraged. Its siting and size calls for an aspirational intervention – whilst at present, it might be desirable to turn in and away from the major intersections surrounding and create an internal looking site as proposed, there is an opportunity to be the catalyst and precedent for more pedestrian-friendly and engaging development along Sherwood Road and High Street.

      Also, totally agree with your comments regarding singular level activation, a quick approach to stacking and lack of sectional consideration with regards to pedestrian engagement.

      Good intentions and aspirational, but not enough in my opinion.

  5. Having just bought an apartment in Toowong late last year in one of the recently built apartment complexes i look forward to this new project as i feel Toowong really needs a town centre and shopping space. There is only Toowong village which is overcrowded especially on weekends so having another shopping space will really help the growing population and agree definitely another supermarket or 2 is much needed. The lineup to Coles went all the way back to the the butchers today!

  6. I personally like most of the the design, having it closed off isnt inviting for pedestrians then just viewing shops from the footpath but having it really open so people can walk in and see all the shops.

    If you have shop frontage and wide footpath set back from the road as in the plans allowing buses to stop especially on high st without stopping traffic is a win and having traffic entry from high st and Jephson st rather then Sherwood road would help stop any traffic congestion.

    We have to think of the future population growth and what will help eliminate the traffic congestion in the area the most. We need something different to Toowong village, its a big waste of space there at the moment, it has so much potential.

  7. Much needed in the area more shopping options rather then residential buildings there, one really nice residential is enough it will all help create future jobs and as long as it helps with the traffic flow the better and agree vehicle entrances would be better on High st and Jephson st rather then Sherwood road and a above street level walkway to the train station would be a good idea too.

  8. I like this alot but what i would like to see is a indoor sports aquatic centre with an olympic size lap pool, gym and a couple multi use indoor sports courts with QLD climate this would be a great choice for the area and give some entertainment rather then just shops and residential complex, cinema is also a good idea but we need to get people being more active rather then sitting down all the time and watching screens. Give people something to do in the evening and night times.

  9. What would be really good, would be for the Main Roads authorities to work with the developers (timing-wise) and finally bypass the High St dog-leg altogether. Build over the top of the railway line from the Burns Road bridge north of BBC, to the intersection of Coro Drive, High Street and Brisbane Street. Then perhaps something interesting could be done with the avenue in High Street.

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