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Eyesore to sleek office tower: Plans to transform longtime vacant Valley block

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A prominent building site at the entrance to Fortitude Valley that has stood vacant for more than 30 years is set to be transformed from an eyesore into a sleek 30 storey office tower.

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Plans lodged with the Brisbane City Council show the development, at 186 Wickham St, would include a retail mall at ground level, helping to shake up an area of the Valley now dominated by restaurants and nightclubs.

Singapore based construction company Lian Beng Group sold the block for $18.2 million earlier this year to newly formed Australian firm W&R Property, saying the viability of its planned development has been undermined by “the increasing complexities of real estate development in Australia”.

The new owners have wasted no time in reshaping the planned development from mixed use to 30,000 square metres of commercial office space and reducing the number of towers on the site from three to one.

There are also plans for a smaller office development on another part of the block.

“The proposed development is an opportunity to undertake urban renewal within Wickham Street referencing the historical context of the Valley,” doeuments promoting the development state.

“The design reinvigorates, and rejuvenates the surrounding character street scape enhancing the precincts laneway culture.”

One the site of the Rex Theatre, the block has had a mixed history, with one part of it at the centre of a stoush between the council and a nearby nightclub accused by council officers of using the land as an outdoor extension of its business.

 

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