Each year, The Urban Developer’s cities conference,Urbanity, takes place in one of Australia’s most exciting areas of major urban renewal – Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley precinct.
Thanks to a new wave of development the thriving city precinct on the northern edge of Brisbane’s expanding CBD is experiencing a retail resurgence.
And it’s about time.
Fortitude Valley has a rich history. A history Chesters Real Estate director Michael Platsis believes will continue to be celebrated as a retail renaissance emerges in what locals affectionately refer to as, simply, “the Valley” .
“The Valley renewal has been the focus for billions of dollars of investment in development projects. However the area has been through a tough patch,” Platsis said.
“Parts of the Valley have remained untouched and become outdated. Brisbane’s restaurant game has also been very tricky.”
But the emergence of key commercial and residential players injecting billions of dollars of development projects into the entertainment precinct is driving the Fortitude Valley’s urban renewal.
As a retail renaissance spreads from the top of the colourful Brunswick Street Mall to the laneways of James Street, here are some of the new food, musical and cultural experiences coming to the Fortitude Valley area in 2018 and beyond.
If your only experience of Brisbane was Fortitude Valley, what is the lasting impression you would take away?
Valley Vision 2018
The Calile Hotel
Hailed as Australia’s first urban resort, The Calile Hotel is establishing itself as an oasis in the midst of upmarket lifestyle precinct James Street.
Ada and Calile set sail for Australia in 1892. Some 130 years later Brisbane’s latest hotel, The Calile, takes its namesake in honour of the Brisbane Malouf family’s great-grandparents (Calile Malouf Investments CMI).
Richard & Spence are at the design helm of the hotel, which ascends seven stories and offers 175 guest rooms, having taken cues from similar subtropical city climates (think Miami, Palm Springs, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City) to inform the luxury offering.
A unique offering is key to the success of any business. For travelers and locals alike there is a thirst for the authentic, for purpose and for a sense of destination.
The Calile Hotel
On the dining front the flagship restaurant Hellenika (Yes, of Gold Coast’s Nobby Beach fame from owner Simon Gloftis), sits on 600sq m floor space, offering diners a Modern authentic Greek menu by (original Hellenika alumni) chef Bryan Kelly.
Hellenika opens to The Calile’s luxe pool terrace, the heart of the hotel, a carefully planed open space denoting a sense of old world charm lined by poolside cabanas.
Hellenika guests can select to dine outdoors and, upon dusk, under the stars.
The establishment is the latest addition to TFE Hotels’ operational portfolio.
TFE general manager Jeremy Nordkamp, who recently returned from a two year stint in the tropical Maldives, says the 500 capacity grand ballroom has booked all Saturdays until 2019.
Hutchinson Builders have been busy constructing the Calile with 220 labourers working on the site in preparation for its official opening this month.
Adding to the fashion strip’s retail offerings, the hotel’s ground floor space will feature hanging gardens and be home to Queensland flagship stores Dion Lee, sustainable organic cotton favourite Bassike, Sydney-based Venroy, Bec & Bridge, and Dutch lingerie brand Love Stories.
The Fortitude Music Hall
This project is not about money. It’s about music and Brisbane.
Offering a venue capacity of 3300, Brisbane’s newest live music venue will call the Fortitude Valley home.
The 312 Brunswick Street site spans 2500sq m, and will offer 1000sq m of retail space.
The private entity delivering the $43 million project comprises a trio of music lovers – Hutchinson Builders chairman Scott Hutchinson, former Powderfinger member John “JC” Collins, and co-founder of Secret Sounds Paul Piticco, who recently announced Live Nation, the world’s leading live entertainment company, as a principal partner in the project.
“This will be the Valley’s anchor,” Hutchinson told The Urban Developer.
All up it’s going to cost Hutchies around $43 million and it’ll get valued at only about $25 million.
Brisbane currently doesn’t have a music venue of this middle range size within its city precinct.
“This is what will bring thousands of people from all backgrounds and ages into the Valley. And I’ll be there enjoying it too,” Hutchinson said.
The venue, anticipated for completion by April 2019, will stand at the old site of Brisbane’s well-known Festival Hall demolished in 2003, where Hutchinson himself enjoyed iconic acts such as Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys and Blondie.
The vision for Fortitude Music Hall is to fill the void Festival Hall left when it was demolished, John “JC” Collins said.
“The masterplan is well and truly rolling out for a venue and space that will enhance the area and one that the community will benefit from for many years to come. We are doing this for Brisbane!”
Hutchies acquired the prime inner city site, which can fit about 350 units, for $23.5 million and plans to spend another $20 million building it.
“Somebody had to take the hit that music couldn’t afford. And Hutchies (Builders) can do that.”
Recycled shipping containers housing Brisbane’s latest food hub on McLachlan Street offers a sprawling multi-level indoor outdoor dining, bar and leisure experience.
The new venue’s footprint spans two blocks, a substantial 1,255sq m site allowing a 1200 capacity.
Designed by Collectivus, X Cargo offers patrons multiple rooftop terraces, an open air cinema and an outdoor beer garden alongside live music and DJs.
General manager Marc Grey says the Brisbane council were supportive in helping the project reach its July launch date this year.
“I think the Valley was losing its nightlife to the CBD. A bigger project like this, along with all the other offerings coming on-board at this time, really give Fortitude Valley that last kick.”
Head chef Peter Popow offers X Cargo diners a delicate meeting point somewhere between fine dining and street-food.
“It runs those great flavours of fine-dining but the presentation won’t be as pretentious,” Grey told The Urban Developer.
43 McLachlan Street, Fortitude ValleyX Cargo
The Sound Garden
The Sound Garden is the quirky new bar and restaurant set to be the companion to the new Fortitude Music Hall.
The 800-plus capacity venue will be a casual open bar and restaurant with outdoor dining along Brunswick Street’s footpath, by day. But by night, Mantle Group chief executive Arj Rupesinghe says The Sound Garden’s other personality, as an edgy inner-city bar emerges.
“This is the perfect place to get warmed up before a gig, or for a casual night out with friends,” Rupesinghe told The Urban Developer.
Head chef Deniz Coskun will be the master of the kitchen, with a menu presenting timber grills, house smoked meats and seafood, alongside share dishes pre, post and beyond a music gig.
The Sound Garden will be housed within a large two-storey restaurant space, designed by architect Hogg and Lamb, characterised by a central tree-filled void.
“A balcony overlooking the Brunswick Street Mall makes for an ideal place to cool down with a few drinks under the stars after a noisy gig,” Rupesinghe adds.
The Brunswick street site was also acquired by a private entity led by Hutchies chairman Scott Hutchinson.
Hungry music lovers will have to wait one more year however, Rupesinghe says The Sound Garden will open its dining doors July 2019.
Supporting live music is a key part of the venue’s DNA.
Mantle Group CEO Arj Rupesinghe
Hailing from Seoul South Korea, Nom Nom operator “Phillip” Kim (birth name Jaeseung Kim) arrived in Brisbane in 2007.
Nom Nom offers Korean fusion cuisine, or what Jaeseung Kim likes to describe as “simple and tasty Korean street food”.
Kim operates both Nom Nom restaurants, a laneway hideaway spot at 680 Ann Street under a three year lease, and the newly opened Warner Street location under a 10 year lease.
Head chef Jake Pregnell (of QLD’s Burleigh Head’s Rick Shores’ acclaim) is behind Little Valley’s kitchen offering the modern take on Chinese fusion cuisine.
Guests will discover Little Valley’s front entrance tucked away in a new laneway precinct.
Lambert & Smith architect Toni Ward designed the airy dining space, housed in a 100-year-old building.
The restaurant offers a 70-seater dining hall along with an upstairs open aired bar and píjiŭ (beer) garden.
Launched by co-owners David Flynn, Frank Li, Nick Woodward and Andrew Hohns, the new restaurant and bar offers guests a “neo-Chinese” culinary experience at 6 Warner Street.
“Much like Fortitude Valley, on a smaller scale, Little Valley aims to become a melting pot of culture and influences.”
Taking urban cues from its heritage building surrounds, Beirne Lane is self-described as the “new centrepiece for food and drink” in the Fortitude Valley.
The 580sq m venue is the latest bar and restaurant or “pub reimagined” by experienced operators Trent Meade and Matt Blyth (think Isles Lane, the Met, GPO Hotel) set to open later this year.
Architect The Buchan Group redesigned the ground floor of the surrounding iconic buildings into The Arcade and The Beirne Laneway.
The Valley Heart property portfolio, which includes the heritage listed TC Beirne building, was purchased by Ashe Morgan and DMANN Corporation in 2015 for $79 million.
A complete refurbishment of the site has since taken place, including the office space and more than 2000sq m of retail.
Describing Brisbane as a “new world city”, using Brisbane city council’s own words, I think if it’s truly going to become a “new-world city” then it needs a place like Fortitude Valley.
Brisbane Foodies know Thai restaurant LongTime well.
Nestled in a Valley laneway behind the Wickham Hotel, Longtime co-owners Frank Li and Tyron Simon along with chef Nathan Lastevec and Bianca Marchi have delivered the highly anticipated Japanese-inspired Honto.
Head chef Nathan Lastevec worked with Tokyo native Kogi Ohori on the menu which is split into four sections: Raw, Bites, Bigs and Greens.
“Our menu reimagines Japanese cooking with contemporary nuance and local ingredients.”
The 23 Alden Street venue seats 70 people.
A traditional wood-burning technique known as shou sugi banwas used on the walls creating a charred black effect, the result – a dark and moody space tucked away in the gritty end of the Valley.
While the Fortitude Valley has long been seen as a night time destination by food and beverage operators, Platsis believes it’s the introduction of venues such as these that will breathe new life into the Valley precinct.
“These are major venues operated by first class operators, set to re-activate the daytime economy of the Valley,” Platsis says.
“2018 is a big year for the precinct.”
There is a significant appetite for change – and a real desire to see what could be achieved through a different approach.
Valley Vision 2018
Developer to Open First Sunshine Coast Hotel in $2.1bn Town Centre
Pro-Invest will develop the first new hotel in three decades on the Sunshine Coast as part of the new $2.1 billion town centre in Maroochydore.
The nine storey, 167 room hotel is slated to open late 2020, marking the developer’s second Pro-Invest hotel project in Queensland.
Pro-Invest, an investment and development company, said it will finance, develop and operate the hotel as the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, which it plans to launch around the same time as the new internationally-capable runway at Sunshine Coast Airport.
While hotel developments have been proposed for the Sunshine Coast in recent years, Pro-Invest chief executive Ronald Barrott said they were still “a long way from being realised”.
“Investment for the Sunshine Coast hotel will come from Pro-Invest’s Australian Hospitality Opportunity Fund II, with Pro-Invest responsible for the construction, launch and management of the hotel.”
Pro-Invest negotiated the hotel site acquisition from the Sunshine Coast Council and Economic Development Queensland.
The Sunshine Coast’s central business district, formerly Horton Park Golf Club which spans a 15-hectare site, was purchased by the Sunshine Coast Council for $42 million in 2015.
Visit Sunshine Coast chief executive Simon Latchford says the region has attracted 3.9 million visitors, an increase of 15 per cent over the 12 months to March 2018.
Pro-Invest opened the Holiday Inn Express in Brisbane Central in 2017, the company is in the process of securing another site for its 13th hotel.
“Three more hotels are scheduled to open in the next 12 months, followed by another five in 2020-2021,” Barrott said.
Earlier this month Stockland sold a 50 per cent share of its largest masterplanned community, a 20,000 lot estate on the Sunshine Coast, to private developer Capital Property Group led by billionaire Terry Snow.
Rare Corner Block Site in Sunshine Coast Health Hub Hits the Market
A large, centrally-located corner block opposite a modern, new $1.8 billion public hospital is certain to attract keen interest from developers seeking to become part of the Sunshine Coast’s booming health and wellbeing hub.
The 3600sq m property – lot 907 on the corner of Eccles and Florey Boulevards – is one of the best positioned, yet-to-be-developed sites within the Sunshine Coast Health Precinct in the flourishing suburb of Birtinya.
The health hub, anchored by the Sunshine Coast University Hospital set to grow to a 738-bed facility and accommodate 10,000 patients a year by 2021, represents Australia’s single largest investment in health infrastructure.
It will deliver billions of dollars to the regional economy, generate 16,000 ongoing jobs, and offer enormous investment opportunities for specialist and ancillary health businesses.
The massive Stockland-developed health hub is a two-minute drive to the developer’s $87 million Birtinya shopping centre, and only a kilometre or two from its Bokarina Beach residential, retail and tourism project, nearing completion right on the coast.
The property is being offered for sale by CBRE Sunshine Coast and Savills, two of the region’s leading commercial agents.
CBRE Sunshine Coast managing director Rem Rafter said it was a time of unmatched growth in and around Birtinya, and throughout the wider Sunshine Coast region.
“Development sites in outstanding high-profile positions like this rarely become available,” he said. “As the health hub expands, hundreds of homes are being built to accommodate residents taking up the thousands of new jobs on offer.”
As well as the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, which has quickly assumed the mantle of the region’s primary public hospital, the health precinct accommodates Ramsay Health Care’s Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital, and the $60.8 million Sunshine Coast Health Institute.
The 17ha Sunshine Coast Health Precinct is a magnet for ideas, a place where entrepreneurs and knowledge-economy firms are operating in an idyllic coastal setting with access to the world’s most modern technology.
It’s where teaching and research is carried out in a culture of innovation and excellence.
The Sunshine Coast’s Health Institute – just along Eccles Boulevard from Lot 907 – caters for more than 1000 medical, nursing and allied health students from TAFE Queensland East Coast and the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Here, research is being undertaken into diseases, trends and risk factors as well as treatment outcomes, patterns of care, and best practice health care systems.
A new clinical trials unit has just opened at the Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital to give patients access to new therapies – further evidence of the precinct’s importance as a research district of world standing.
Health is big business on the Sunshine Coast, with the industry employing more than 20,000 people to be the region’s largest employer. By 2033, the health and wellness industry is predicted to double its share of the employment market.
Huge investment in health infrastructure has been one of the major drivers of the Sunshine Coast economy over the past five years.
A recent Urbis report predicts that heavy spending on the health sector will continue into the next decade, leading to thousands of new jobs in the health care and social assistance industries.
The health and wellbeing industry is driving growth in all economic categories, ensuring a positive future not only for the sector, but for the entire Sunshine Coast.
Lot 907, with roughly equal frontages to Eccles Boulevard and Florey Boulevard, is suitable for the establishment of an eight-level building which would attract businesses with a connection to health care.
This could include health funds, medical products, pharmaceutical companies, research and development, pharmacies, gift and florist shops, banking and government agencies, or hospitality facilities.
The property is close to the major regional centres of Caloundra and Maroochydore, and within a few kilometres of the rapidly-growing residential communities of Harmony and Stockland’s Aura, where nearly 70,000 people are expected to make their home.
The property is for sale by offers of purchase, closing at 12pm, Wednesday, 7 August, 2019.
Foundry Development Site in Brisbane’s South Hits the Market
An expansive landholding occupied by an old foundry on Brisbane’s south side could be redeveloped from an industrial site into a residential and commercial precinct, subject to approvals.
The 16.22 hectare brownfield site in Runcorn, located 14 kilometres south of Brisbane’s CBD, will hit the market this month.
Global engineering business Bradken has owned and operated a foundry on the site, at 54A & 32 Bonemill Road, for more than 60 years, having purchased it in 1955.
Bradken, established in 1922, plans to close shop of its Runcorn Foundry in September.
The proposed masterplan for the site, dubbed “The Foundry” in homage to its soon-to-be previous use, would create a new precinct comprising a mix of industry.
Knight Frank’s Mark Clifford and Christian Sandstrom, who will run the expressions of interest campaign, says the proposed scheme has the potential to include an entertainment hub which could incorporate a cinema, tavern, supermarket and neighbourhood centre.
Clifford said the Runcorn property has received significant interest from both local and offshore buyers.
“The bulk of interest has been from residential-based development groups, with these buyers interested in converting the site from its current industrial use into a residential and commercial development, pending the appropriate zoning and development approvals,” Clifford said.
Sandstrom said the opportunity to purchase the Runcorn site was “rare”.
“Being one of the few remaining large brownfield sites close to public transport in Brisbane,” Sandstrom said.
“Many developers have been waiting for this site to hit the market[…]they have been keeping a watchful eye on it, and we expect buyer enquiry to be strong when the campaign officially launches.
“While it could retain its current industrial use, the far more likely – and almost certain – outcome is that it will be converted into any number of uses, including retail, commercial, allied health, aged care and retirement, residential and entertainment uses, subject to Brisbane City Council approval,” Sandstrom said.
The Runcorn site, which sits in close proximity of major centres including Upper Mt Gravatt and Sunnybank, is located near major arterial road the M1 and Logan Motorway.
The expressions of interest campaign starts 15 July and ends 22 August.
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