Brisbane’s Top 5 Iconic Development Sites

View of The Royal on the Park. Source: Google Street View

There are many great potential development sites around Brisbane. However some, more then others posses important characteristics which gives a site an iconic status. Brisbane’s five most iconic development sites with potential are based on their location, size and surrounding environment.

  1. Eagle Street Pier, CBD
  2. Old Supreme Courthouse – CBD
  3. 93 Boundary Street – West End
  4. Pauls Milk Factory – South Brisbane
  5. Royal on the Park, CBD

#No.1 | Eagle Street Pier, CBD

Eagle Street is at the heart of business and finance in Brisbane and forms what we know as the Golden Triangle. In 2006, Stockland, the owners of Eagle Street Pier and Water Front Place proposed to build two twin towers on the site soaring approximately 70 floors high. However due to economic woes, the proposal was put on the back burner and later shelved in 2008.

Now that One One One Eagle Street is nearing completion, this is the last remaining river front land on Eagle Street that is largely still under developed. Considering Eagle Street is the heart of Brisbane’s financial quarter, this site has been chosen as Brisbane’s No.1 iconic development site.

#No.2 | Old Supreme Courthouse, CBD

Built in the 1970’s and extended in the 80’s, the now ‘old’ supreme court complex will soon be superseeded by a much newer, larger, greener and more advanced courthouse building, complete with 45 different courtrooms. But the site from which the Supreme and District courthouse is relocating from is in essence one of the largest, most prominent pieces of state owned real estate in Brisbane’s CBD.

It is the last remaining land holding with street frontage access on all sides, facing Adelaide, George, Ann Street and North Quay. Such a site deserves to be developed into something of region-wide significance. The 2011 Brisbane Ideas Competition produced one idea which proposed a new opera house and theatre to rival the Sydney Opera House. Other ideas which have been dreamt up include a new entertainment centre, mixed use precinct with hotel, office, residential and retail space as well as a future transit hub.

One thing is for sure, that this is a very significant site. It has been chosen as No.2 because of it’s location large size.

Today, the Brisbane Times reported that if successful, a Liberal-National Government would open a bidding process to build a new 4/5 star hotel on the site. It is not yet known what the Labor Government has in mind for the site.

The best outcome for the site may come from a public private partnership between the State Government and the private sector, which could see a mixed use space of cultural/entertainment investment from the Government as well as hotel, residential and commercial investment from private developers, rather then the government handing over the whole site to a single private entity. Creative, innovative ideas need to be explored to give Brisbane more cultural and entertainment destinations while a mandate for minimum development outcomes should be applied in this case.

Time will tell what will come of this site. Lets all cross our fingers that this great opportunity is not wasted.

#No.3 | 93 Boundary Street, West End

Also known as the ABSOE Site, this is possibly one of Brisbane’s most exciting development opportunities. 93 Boundary Street is a significant slice of light industrial land in the heart of West End’s fast growing entertainment and dining precincts. The site is around 22,410m2 in size and is located in a Multi Purpose Centre – Major Purpose Centre MP2 which means it can achieve up to 15 levels under the South Brisbane Riverside Neighbourhood Plan.

There have been recent murmurs of a new Big W and Woolworths being built on this site, however due to the close proximity to West End’s unique restaurant precinct, one would think that this site is destined to be something more unique and in line with the immediate area.

One potential design could incorporate high density mixed use development with a West End – small laneways feel. Ground level retail lanes could connect Molison and Boundary Streets. Images above are from the Bakery Lane proposal and Anthony John Group’s Boulevard project.

#No.4 | Parmalat Site, South Brisbane

For decades Parmalat has been processing milk products consumed both locally and exported as far away as Hong Kong. The facility is one of Brisbane’s last remaining inner city factories. Given the lack of heritage or ‘iconic status’ which Milton’s XXXX brewery possesses and coupled with rising land values, in time, Parmalat will eventually move its production elsewhere leaving a very unique, riverfront site to be redeveloped.

Rumours have been floating around of a State Government buyout which would see the relocation of the Treasury Casino to the site and a new entertainment complex created. Whatever is planned, the site is rated No.4 due to it’s location along the Brisbane River and right next to Southbank’s Cultural Precinct.

#No.5 | Royal on the Park, CBD

The Royal on the Park hotel has been operating for around 40 years. The site is very large and faces the Botanic Gardens, therefore views will never be built out. Last year it was revealed that the site will soon become the main portal for the Albert Street underground rail station as part of the Cross River Rail project. The Government has proposed to use the site as a portal as well as accommodating possible residential and office towers.

It is a significant site due to the proximity to the Botanic Gardens and the sheer size of the land.


  1. Eagle street is pretty well done, but Brisbane has 4 sites to get it absolutely perfect. Unlike the little white box devine has just designed for Alice, lets get some world thinking designers in to really let our hair down, not just a box that i could draw you in 2 minutes. Come on Brisbane, be a world class city, not a boxymoron.

  2. Oikster, you could do well in a couple of architecture subjects if you’ve got any spare time/cash. London has the Gherkin and the Shard, maybe you could end up on the team designing Brisbane’s own avant garde Gehry horror. Central Brisbane is a highrise city, and like Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, consists of a collection of relatively conservative structures. We couldn’t do worse to enlarge the collection with a giant surrealist centrepiece that screams for attention like in London, which is a very lowrise City. Brisbane is already very developed, and needs a level of conservatism with it’s new forms.

  3. I am still waiting for Brisbane to WoW me, if we stick to conservitive any longer, we just might run out of space to WoW me, that would be upsetting.

    They have a couple of nice buildings coming up, like i said, nice, that is a long way from WoW. I am yet to be wowed.

  4. Devine (now trading as Metro) have done more to put the architectural aspirations and development of this city to sleep than anyone. As well as producting boring boxes they destroy markets by oversupplying them by paying investment sellers to flog their boxes on $30K per unit commission cheques. Brisbane will not develop as an interesting city until the rack and stack category killer approach brought to us by Devine is dead.

  5. Let’s keep the Paul’s factory area a productive areas, its nice seeing the processes that go into the things we consume, what about an artisan space, not too dissimilar to what ‘absoe’ is being used for at the moment. We all need things and by putting their production in our face we could all learn alot about what goes into it.


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