The Palaszczuk Government has given a green light to Dexus to progress to the next stage of a massive new proposal to transform Brisbane’s Eagle Street Pier into a premium business and leisure destination known as Dexus Waterfront Precinct which would sustain around 740 jobs yearly.
This decision means the government has approved Dexus to move to a full feasibility study of redeveloping the complex and surrounds into a new Waterfront Precinct under the Market-Led-Proposal Program.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the proposal – which will now proceed to Stage 2 of Market-Led Proposal assessment – includes a visionary precinct featuring two new towers on the Eagle Street Pier site with the potential for commercial use, residential apartments, a hotel and retail spaces.
Market-Led Proposals are proposals from the private sector seeking an exclusive commercial arrangement with the government to deliver a service or infrastructure to meet a community need.
There are four stages of the MLP framework – preliminary assessment, initial proposal, detailed proposal and final binding offer. The Dexus Waterfront Precinct proposal has completed stage one, and is today moving to stage two.
The Waterfront Precinct is a unique opportunity to transform Brisbane’s Eagle
Street and surrounds into a leading premium business and leisure destination in the heart of the CBD. – Dexus
“Should this project reach final approval, this will be a city-shaping development – a world-class mixed-use riverside precinct with public space at its heart,” Mr Dick said.
“Our government is supporting this proposal because we support jobs, and this project would represent a $1.4 billion investment in Brisbane with the potential to support around 740 jobs per annum over the life of construction.
“This proposal isn’t without complexities, but we know we need this sort of investment to grow jobs for Queenslanders, which is a key priority for our government and for me in my role as part of a key Ministerial team driving our state’s economy.
“Construction is the third largest employment industry in Queensland, and we know projects like this one will help support tradies and their families across the South East.”
Mr Dick said the proposal would see up to 1.5 hectares of public and riverfront open space, including shaded public terraces stepping down to the river and a new, wider Riverwalk section that would continue the alignment along the river with the recently announced botanic gardens Riverwalk project.
“Eagle Street Pier is an important, much utilised and much loved location in our city, and our government supports this proposal moving forward because we want to see it continue to thrive, as well as improve access to the Brisbane River from the Brisbane CBD,” he said.
The Dexus proposal includes a section of Eagle Street to be closed to vehicle traffic to create a shaded, pedestrian and cyclist-friendly environment, providing an opportunity to reconfigure the way vehicle and pedestrian traffic currently moves through the precinct.
According to Dexus, the pedestrian-friendly precinct would have many community benefits including:
- 1.5 hectares of riverside public open space
- A traffic-free precinct
- Safer walking and cycling
- More restaurants and casual eateries
- Better access to and views of the river
- 7-day a week activation
- A widened and upgraded Riverwalk
- Expansive, shaded terraces
- Lush sub-tropical landscaping
- A renovated heritage-listed Naldham House (Polo Club)
- Enhanced worker and visitor experience
Mr Dick said as part of moving through Stage 2: Detailed proposal, Dexus would work with the Brisbane City Council and Translink to consider the feasibility of the proposal.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said Council was supportive of the proposal for the City Reach precinct which was a key commercial and employment hub for the city’s financial sector.
“While ultimate approval of the proposal rests with the Queensland Government, Council has expressed its initial support of this Market-Led Proposal, recognising the many economic, lifestyle and leisure opportunities such a project would bring to our New World City,” he said.
“The proposal is a vote of confidence in Brisbane as a place to do business and reinforces our attraction as a tourist destination.”
Cr Quirk said the draft MLP included a proposal to permanently close Eagle Street to all traffic from the corner of Market Street to the corner of Charlotte Street, which would be assessed by a joint working group of key stakeholders including Council and TransLink.
“Dexus will now conduct detailed planning, including traffic impact modelling on the proposed permanent road closure at Eagle Street,” he said.
“Council will carefully consider and weigh up any potential impacts of the project against the proposed benefits to ensure the best possible outcome for Brisbane residents and businesses and our city’s road, pedestrian, cycle and public transport network.”
As the owner and manager of the largest consolidated private sector landholding in the Brisbane CBD, which includes the Eagle Street Pier and surrounds, Dexus is in a unique position to deliver the proposed project.
Dexus Chief Executive Officer Darren Steinberg said plans were still being developed but the opportunity was for a revitalised business and leisure destination which prioritises access to the river and the precinct from the city.
“The ambition of the proposal is to revitalise Brisbane’s premier dining hub and give back the waterfront to the Brisbane community, creating a place that celebrates Brisbane’s sub-tropical climate and delivers a global-standard business address and tourist destination in the heart of the CBD,” he said.
“The proposal is consistent with our strategy of enhancing the CBD assets owned by Dexus and our funds management clients through development and creating engaging workplaces and spaces for our customers and the community.”
He said the vision for the Waterfront Precinct aligned with Brisbane City Council’s New World City Action Plan and supported the Queensland Government’s economic development agenda.
Mr Dick said the Palaszczuk Government was working with Dexus to explore the feasibility of the proposal.
“This will include early stakeholder consultation with the wider Brisbane community and other stakeholders,” he said.
Stakeholder consultation would run into next year with possible construction activity commencing in 2020 with total completion in 2026.
More information on the project can be viewed at www.waterfrontprecinct.com.au.