Brisbane development group Trenert has recently announced plans to develop a huge mixed-use project worth $1.2 billion alongside the heritage-listed Railway Hotel in a bid to be close to centre stage of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The development, named Station Square at this stage, is set to overlook a redeveloped Gabba when completed before the Games in 2032.
Trenert, a boutique property development company, is hoping to deliver a world-class residential, commercial and mixed-use project, has labelled Station Square as an ‘exciting new mixed-use precinct’ that is designed to ‘celebrate and showcase Brisbane’s unique heritage’. The company plans to enlist a joint-venture partner to undertake the project, which will deliver a five-star hotel, an office tower, and a retail plaza to the Olympics precinct. They also plan to develop a mix of residences comprising residential apartments and affordable housing in partnership with community housing provider BlueCHP. The 40-storey hotel tower would be the tallest building constrcuted outside of the Brisbane CBD, signalling an intent for the quickly emerging Woolloongabba priority redevelopment zone.
The site, which has remained dormant for the past eight years, was subject to a major development proposal in 2015 by its former owners – the Sydney-based apartment developer Dyldam and Brisbane’s Barakat Group. The development partners had acquired the site for $25 million and had planned 430 apartments for the site, as well as a refurbishment of the Railway Hotel, which at the time was known as the Chalk Hotel. The Railway Hotel portion of the amalgamated site, which spent many years as the Chalk Hotel, sits at the front of the site to Stanley Street, and will feature as a centrepiece of the redevelopment plan.
The amalgamated site sits within a strategically important section of Stanley St between Woolloongabba and South Brisbane, surrounded by sporting, medical and entertainment areas. The section of retail shops along Stanley St between the motorway and the Gabba Stadium fell quiet over the years after the motorway was built back in the 1980’s. Prior to that, motorists had to take the southern drive route through the heart of the Gabba, down Logan Road, however with the development of the motorway, Woolloongabba’s activity fell quiet. Woolloongabba has now emerged as a significant redevelopment zone for the Brisbane City Council, due to it’s location, transport infrastructure (Cross River Rail), entertainment value and access to major medical facilities within 2km to the CBD.
Trenert is ‘unashamedly ambitious’ about the scale of the proposed Station Square project and is hinting that it is close to confirming a ‘major corporate entity’ as its joint-venture partner. The managing partner of Trenert, Peter Priest, expects the project to be completed ahead of the Brisbane Olympics in 2032.
“The Government investment in the Gabba stadium and Cross River Rail are the catalysts for the transformation of the Gabba, and this is an investment in that vision,” Priest says. “We’re looking forward to delivering much-needed housing as part of the Gabba transformation, putting homes adjacent to transport infrastructure and creating a vibrant 24-hour precinct.”
Queensland’s Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Steven Miles, says Station Square will be a vital contribution to the government’s vision for the Gabba precinct. The Gabba, which is earmarked for a $2.7 billion redevelopment, will play host to the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics.
“The government’s aim is to transform the Gabba precinct into a vibrant mixed-use hub, with access to world-class public transport as well as improved public spaces to encourage more visitors to the area,” Miles says. “This sort of private sector investment is an important part of delivering on that vision. Urban renewal of the Gabba precinct can be an obvious Olympic legacy, and this proposal has the opportunity to address a clear need for greater housing affordability in the inner city.”
Station Square will comprise 200,000sqm of gross building area, including 7,000sqm of green and open space, 50,000sqm of commercial office space, and 6,000sqm of retail and food outlets. The proposal will include a full restoration of the Railway Hotel to include 740sqm of retail space. The proposed hotel will comprise 320 hotel suites and 120 private residences, while the residential component will include 165 apartments and 114 affordable apartments. The application also outlines a bridge connection traversing Stanley Street over to the Woolloongabba Cross River Rail redevelopment zone, which will be the major hosting point for the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.
Trenert joins a short list of developers that are doubling down on the redevelopment area of Woolloongabba, with the state government now reviewing the Priority Development Area (PDA) in hopes of potentially creating Brisbane’s 2nd CBD. The Sarazin Group have recently put in an impact assessable development application to raise the height for their Silk Lane dual-tower project at 835 Stanley Street, which has the envious location of direct views directly into the Gabba Stadium itself. The Arden Property Group are also pressing the height limit boundaries, with their K-Point application at 352 Vulture Street also rising above the permissible height limits. With Brisbane facing a huge supply shortage as it quickly grows, these projects serve to unlock as many dwellings as possible to house the influx of both international and interstate migration to the city.
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