Walker Proposes Large Commercial Tower for 801 Ann Street

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Artist's impression of proposed 801 Ann Street commercial tower

Walker Corporation has submitted a development application for a large 22 storey commercial tower with 3-storey podium located at 801 Ann Street, Fortitude Valley.

Designed by COX Architecture, the proposed tower consists of 46,659 sqm of gross floor area (commercial and retail). A total of 386 sqm of retail floor space is provided at the ground level on McLachlan Street.

The upper lobby includes an ancillary conference facility of 652 sqm of net leasable area, which is proposed to be used solely by tenants of the building.

The tower features very large floor plates which range up to 2,132 sqm per level in the highrise section. The ground level comprises of a large lobby entry, tenant lobby and retail along McLachlan Street.

Storage for 350 bikes as well as 506 lockers is planned within the proposed end of trip facilities on basement level one.

Artist’s impression of proposed ground floor lobby along Ann Street

According to the development application, the lobby is set to include a potential art wall that creates a vibrant entry space. The lobby contains separate lift and stair access to the main building and basement car park, plus escalators to the upper lobby. It is hoped that the lobby will be an iconic feature of the building and to the broader area.

Diagram showing a developed Fortitude Valley precinct from the West
Diagram showing a developed Fortitude Valley precinct from the North

Design Intent

The design concept for the building as a ‘collection of towers’ is designed to address both the disparate scales of the existing and planned future built environment in the vicinity of the building and to modulate the façade elements to reduce the perceived building size.

To enable the reading of multiple towers the mass is ‘broken’ into to four primary forms each separated by a recessive ‘niche’ in the building façades. Two tower elements are expressed on the Ann Street and McLachlan Street corners of approach, forming urban markers visible upon entry and exit to the city.

Artist’s impression of external facade treatment

These markers include two outdoor terraces that divide the tower form into three legible parts. The terraces provide occupiable outdoor space and living greenery for the enjoyment of occupants and ecological and visual amenity of the city alike. The two opposing longitudinal building forms contrast in size and proportion to create a ‘collection of towers’ that appear differently on the Brisbane skyline depending upon the vantage from which the building is viewed.

According to a Jones Lang LaSalle Near City Commercial Market Report in 2017, near city annual office supply absorption rates has increased from 15,000 sqm in the 1990’s to now 35,000 sqm p.a in the last decade, which puts Near City space ahead of the CBD in meeting Brisbane’s demand for office space.

As Queensland moves into a cycle of stronger growth in the coming decade on the back of major infrastructure works such as Cross River Rail and as tourism assets such as Queen’s Wharf and Brisbane Live come on line, it is expected this will see a material shift in demand for office space in the Brisbane office market.

This is increasingly expected to see more and larger sophisticated occupiers enter the Queensland capital city market, and drive continued increases in larger tenancy sizes. For the Near City, JLL expect that occupiers in the 1,000 sqm to 2,500 sqm will show the strongest growth, which will drive a concerted market push for larger floorplate office buildings.

Commercial towers with large plates will become critical to maximise Brisbane’s competitiveness to attract major commercial occupiers – competing not just against the city’s traditional eastern seaboard capitals of Sydney and Melbourne but as a genuine global city competing on the world stage in the hunt for talent, capital and investment.

– JLL Near City Commercial Market Report in 2017

Diagram of Morgan Street elevation
Diagram of Ann Street elevation

Former Development Application

A previous development application was lodged for the same site by Walker Corporation in December 2014. This proposal consisted of two 19 and 23 storey residential towers which effectively removes the proposed 433 apartments from future Brisbane apartment supply.

The development application number for this development is A004690643.

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