Royal on the Park will be the site of Albert Street’s southern portal.
Yesterday the Cross River Rail team released the latest details of the selected 9.8km tunnel resumption sites as well as major station upgrades for Exhibition, Rocklea and Moorooka stations.
As part of the planned $8 billion underground rail line from Yeerongpilly to Exhibition station, Transport Minister Rachel Nolan announced that the Royal on the Park owned by the Sultan of Brunei will be one of the key sites to be resumed for the southern portal of Albert Street underground station.
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While both the Courier Mail and Brisbane Times call the Royal on the Park as “iconic” and a “Brisbane landmark”, which could be considered as laughable, another key resumption area is more of a concern. The old buildings from 85-97 Albert Street which are right in line with the southern portal site (Royal on the Park) may also need to be resumed. This is the row of buildings which house Jeremy’s restaurant and cafe.
If this is the site of the northern portal which may be the case, the government should retain the old building facades and integrate them into the station design. Brisbane should not lose any more historical facades, especially in this day and age.
The significance of the Cross River Rail project however is enormous, without a doubt, this will be Queensland’s largest ever infrastructure project and will not only sustain efficient access to Brisbane CBD but it will also give inner city areas such as the Gabba the ability to house future Brisbane growth.
It is also unknown to many that the new underground line isn’t an option as such, this is a rail line which must proceed because Brisbane’s current railway system will reach capacity by 2016 and will paralyse the city if the new line is not constructed.
Returning to the news about the Royal on the Park resumption, the Government says it is in direct talks with the owner of the property to achieve the best outcome for both the Government and private owner. This site is a significantly large parcel of land in Brisbane’s CBD and it is highly likely that the Government will lease back the land to developers willing to build on top of the new underground station.
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This site could facilitate from 1 to 4 residential or commercial towers, and has the chance of becoming a true Transit Orientated Development project, backed by both public and private sectors. The land, which houses the Royal on the Park, built in the 1960’s is highly underutilized with most of the site dedicated to surface car parking.
By selling or leasing back the land above the station, this Albert Street portal could be largely funded by the private sector and help out the Government in funding this project. For more information on this project, visit: http://www.crossriverrail.qld.gov.au/