AEG-Ogden, a subsidiary company of AEG, the world’s largest entertainment venue operator has unveiled plans for a massive $2 billion ‘Brisbane Live’ ultra-entertainment precinct to be built above the Roma Street rail lines which will be presented to the state government this week.

Similar to Madison Square Garden in New York City, or Melbourne’s Federation Square, the new precinct complex would make use of valuable air space above existing rail lines as well as the connectivity that Roma Street has to every rail line in the SEQ rail network with no land swap or sale required.

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Artist’s impression of Brisbane Live Arena

The project would also benefit from two proposed mass transit projects, the Queensland Government’s Cross River Rail and the Brisbane City Council’s Brisbane Metro proposal, both with stations at Roma Street and have the ability to transport thousands of spectators in and out of the precinct within just minutes.

At the centrepiece of the Brisbane Live plan which is based on AEG’s LA Live complex is a new 17,000 seat world class arena which will showcase international superstar concerts and performances as well as world sporting events.

The masterplan put forward by AEG-Ogden features a sliding front wall that opens to reveal live acts on stage, the $450 million arena will also include a 4000-capacity rock club and be surrounded by multiplex cinemas, restaurants and bars, and a giant screen and amphitheatre catering for around 15,000 people.

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Brisbane Live Masterplan
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Brisbane Live highlights

The long term master plan includes:

  • Demolition of current Brisbane Transit Centre buildings to new underground facility
  • New hotels
  • Up to 4000 new apartments including a proposed signature 90 storey residential tower
  • New commercial towers
  • Creation of a future dining precinct in and around the heritage Roma Street Station building
  • Future cultural facility buildings planned for above the upper Roma Street rail lines
  • Medical facilities
  • Possibility of an educational campus
  • A new walkable precinct linking The Barracks with King George Square and onto the Queen Street Mall as well as new cycle paths
  • Provision for future connection to Victoria Park
  • Roma Street Parklands to remain unchanged however benefit from enhanced connectivity

Substantial public space is planned, about the size of New Farm Park. Jacaranda Grove, a new central water-based parkland area is also planned and will accommodate the iconic Brisbane Jacaranda tree planted throughout.

Before and after

 

AEG-Odgen chairman Harvey Lister told the Courier Mail,

In over 40 years in the entertainment business – the last 30 of which working on this type of project in Australia and around the world – this is as exciting a transformative opportunity as we have seen.

This is an urban renewal that removes an ugly scar and replaces it with something to be enjoyed by future generations.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said: “The Brisbane Live proposal is an exciting idea that could reshape our city.

“It is a great example of the kind of transformational infrastructure that will be possible by delivering Cross River Rail.”

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Diagram of new public space above Roma Street rail yards
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Conceptual diagram of new Roma Street buildings and site connectivity

OEG-Odgen has also provided a concept proposal for an arena complex at the Parmalat site in South Bank however due to the site being a much smaller area, the proposal would only include the arena facility without the public space or ancillary entertainment facilities the Roma Street plan includes (see original concept article).

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Artist’s impression of Parmalat site option

The best thing about Brisbane Live is that it is a market-led proposal, which means it has been proposed by the private sector and driven by the private sector, not government.

It is a proposal that any state government around the world would be tripping over themselves to attract to their city. No matter who is in power, this proposal is highly likely to see the light of day.

With thousands of jobs that a project like this will bring to Brisbane, much like Queens Wharf, which will bring over 10,000 new jobs to Brisbane, there is also the flow on effect of Brisbane’s reputation which ultimately drives tourism to the city.

Brisbane Live, coupled with Queens Wharf are likely to set off a chain reaction for Brisbane to finally move out of the shadows and truly become what our City Council has been marketing, a New World City, and one that is taken very seriously.

Thanks to the G20 summit in 2014, Brisbane’s name has already become known to most of the international community with a successful New World City image being realized.

An interactive 360 degree view of the masterplan proposal and streetscape can be viewed at www.brisbanelive.com.au. Have your say on which site is the standout, vote in the poll below or comment on this article.

Which proposal for a new inner city entertainment arena do you prefer?

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