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Office Tower Approved for Brisbane’s North Quarter

North Quarter

Charter Hall will have its pick of two development applications for 309 North Quay after both were approved by the Brisbane City Council.

The 6400sq m infill site is tipped to herald the transformation of Brisbane’s North Quarter with a twin tower or single tower development to reimagine the waterfront site, which had been home to a number of radio stations.

The Blight Rayner Architecture-designed developments are 6-star Green Star towers that would reportedly be “Brisbane’s most externally sun-shaded commercial building”.

Charter Hall partnered with QuadReal to acquire the site within the North Quay renewal precinct and took a “flexible approach” to lodge two applications for the site.

The single tower development would include a five-storey podium, and 15 levels above the podium with a total of about 50,000sq m of office space.

The second development application was for north and south towers with the taller one on the riverfront, with a “central spine” between the two buildings that would provide sheltered casual seating and outdoor cafés along a pedestrian laneway.

North Quarter

▲ The 20-storey single tower at 309 North Quay has won approval and will feature sunblade technology to help shade the commercial building. Images: Charter Hall 

Charter Hall regional development director Bradley Norris said the site was a “unique opportunity to contribute to the revitalisation of the Roma Street precinct”.

“Continued investment from the Queensland government and the Brisbane City Council in this area of the CBD, particularly in key city-shaping projects including Cross River Rail and Brisbane Metro, will see Roma Street transformed and we are excited to play a part with the development of 309 North Quay,” Norris said.

Norris said Charter Hall would prioritise the bigger floorplates of the single-tower development, and indicated it would likely be the winning design for the site.

The single-tower plan also provides for a large outdoor garden terrace at the top of the podium with meeting areas and function spaces.

Blight Rayner director Michael Rayner said the office tower developments would feature sun-blade systems to shade the tower and make it more environmentally sensitive.

“These will be the first buildings in the city to be climactically protected by an external sun-blade system that accurately responds to different faced orientations, thus generating a visually iconic subtropical city architecture reinforced by organic form,” Rayner said.

“With increased revitalisation of the city’s fringe precincts we’re looking forward to contributing to the site’s redevelopment potential and taking advantage of its proximity to existing and future infrastructure and transport.”

A three-level basement carpark will provide 276 car parking spaces and a drop off zone has been incorporated at ground level. The building also boasts lush subtropical outdoor spaces in the ground level and podium.

Blight Rayner Architects said they hoped the inclusion of the sun-blade system would be a “catalyst for these redevelopment sites to incorporate meaningful solar treatments, green podiums and activated plaza spaces” embracing the Brisbane City Council’s Buildings That Breathe guidelines.

About 46,000 people are expected to use the Roma Street Station daily upon completion of the Cross River Rail—32ha near the station has been declared a priority development area in 2019, but this does not include 309 North Quay.

Griffith University unveiled $1-billion plans to close its Mt Gravatt Campus, boost its Nathan and Gold Coast campuses and build a 55-storey tower at Roma Street Station. Negotiations with the Queensland government over co-investment opportunities are continuing.


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Charter Hall leads the charge with $560m industrial deals

Charter Hall

Funds management and development juggernaut Charter Hall has swooped on $560 million worth of industrial properties as it builds its pipeline to service the explosive growth in the ecommerce, data and cold storage sectors.

Defying the pandemic-hit market conditions, it has acquired and settled 17 assets which have lucrative high-quality tenant covenants, with long lease terms ranging up to 16.9 years and located in large industrial precincts with proximity to major infrastructure and metropolitan areas.

Further boosting its $16 billion pipeline, Charter Hall has purchased a number of development sites that come with surplus land for expansion and development. The group has forecast the industrial portfolio will grow beyond $20 billion.

Charter Hall is an ASX-listed $7.75 billion diversified manager that specialises in assets with long leases across the traditional sectors of office, retail and industrial as well as fast-moving consumer foods, pubs, healthcare and childcare.

Charter Hall chief executive David Harrison said the acquisitions build on the group’s strong momentum in acquiring high-quality industrial assets in prime locations across Australia.

“We continue to lead the Australian market in deal volume, and our ability to secure high-quality assets off-market continues to deliver long-term value for the business and superior outcomes for our capital partners and investors,” Mr Harrison said.

Major tenant customers secured with the latest acquisitions include Australia Post, Toll, Border Express, Cleanaway, Zirconia (Iron Mountain) and state government agencies. One large site is the distribution centre in Lytton, Brisbane leased by Kmart.

Charter Hall industrial and logistics chief executive Richard Stacker said with a further $3 billion of investment capacity together with a captive development pipeline, “we would expect our $16 billion industrial portfolio to grow beyond $20 billion over coming years.”

The deals reflect how the country’s commercial property sales moved up a gear in the second quarter, with the industrial sector posting the strongest ever quarterly deal flow, the latest Australia Capital Trends report from Real Capital Analytics (RCA) shows.

Benjamin Martin-Henry, RCA’s head of analytics, Pacific, said quarterly sales of industrial stock outpaced offices and retail properties combined for only the second time since the start of 2020, having never achieved this feat in the previous two decades.

“This record was despite a relatively quiet first quarter for the industrial market. With a hefty deal pipeline of around $2 billion of industrial deals awaiting settlement, 2021 is highly likely to be a record-breaking year for the sector,” Mr Martin-Henry said.

Commercial property sales worth $13.4 billion were closed over the second quarter, up 15 per cent on the same period last year. For the first six months of 2021, volumes reached $21.2 billion, up 11 per cent compared to the same period in 2020.

Together with the Charter Hall deals, Blackstone completed the sale of the Milestone Industrial Portfolio to GIC and ESR for $3.8 billion, while LOGOS, together with partners Australian Super, Ivanhoe Cambridge, TCorp and AXA IM Alts, bought Australia’s largest intermodal logistics facility – Moorebank Logistics Park (MLP) in Sydney – for $1.67 billion from Qube.


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Bridge to 2032 – Brekky Ck span approved, missing link for Games athletes’ village

Green Bridge

Brisbane is set to have another major infrastructure project underway by the end of the year after Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner lodged the final design of the Breakfast Creek green bridge with planning officers for approval.

The $67 million project is likely to provide a smoother connection for pedestrians and cyclists moving between the fast-growing riverside development at Northshore Hamilton and the CBD.

The 80-metre arch will cross Breakfast Creek to connect Newstead Park with the existing Lores Bonney riverwalk which was part of the now completed Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade.

“This is a crucial step towards securing the final approvals we need to commence work on the green bridge that will provide a $67 million investment in local industry, deliver a new active transport options and create 140 local construction jobs,” Schrinner said.

“The Lores Bonney Riverwalk is currently used 2300 times a day, and this new green bridge will improve safety and increase capacity to the riverwalk by creating a continues walking and cycling connection.”

He said the Breakfast Creek project would join the now-approved Kangaroo Point green bridge as fast-tracked investments to create jobs as the city headed out of the coronavirus pandemic.

Brekky Ck

The council has also linked the project to the 2032 Olympics, saying it will be a “key connector” for the planned Athletes Village at Hamilton and provide a critical transport link for the Games.

Two other cross-river pedestrian and cycle links connecting Toowong to West End and St Lucia to West End remain on the council’s green bridge program books but are yet to be funded.

The council insists the remaining bridges need federal and state government funding to go ahead.


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Green ‘Grand Central’: Cross River Rail unveils changes to parklands vision

Cross River

Developers of Queensland’s biggest infrastructure project, the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail, appear to have bowed to public pressure and moved to preserve more public space in its redesign of the city’s Roma Street parklands precinct.

The Cross River Rail Delivery Authority has confirmed it will allow more public open space in a revised development plan for the area.

A new development scheme for the Roma St precinct, which will contain the state’s most most important transport interchange (dubbed Grand Central) as well as the proposed Brisbane Live arena, identifies new green areas and more affordable housing than was originally planned.

The Palaszczuk government has insisted that the development of an underground Roma St station as part of Cross River Rail is a chance to revitalise an under-used part of Brisbane into a major opportunity for private investment.

The government expects that over the next 15 years there will be nearly 4200 new residents and more than 19,700 new workers within the 32 hectare Roma Street priority development area, bounded roughly by Wickham Terrace, North Quay and College Rd.

However, the delivery authority came under fire for giving over part of the Roma St parklands which houses a public car park and Brisbane City Council maintenance depot to residential and commercial development.

The authority now says under the finalised development scheme the precinct would have more “publicly accessible open space”.

“The existing 11 hectares of publicly accessible open space within the Roma St Parklands will not only be protected forever, but will be expanded even further by more than two hectares,” the authority said in a statement.

“The development scheme also provides for new social and affordable housing as part of new residential buildings parallel to the rail corridor, adding to the existing apartment complexes along Parkland Boulevard.”

“This scheme is all about renewing one of Brisbane’s most underutilised inner-city locations while protecting and enhancing the beautiful natural features that already exist. ‘

About 46,000 people each weekday are expected to use the new high-capacity underground station at Roma Street by 2036.


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