As we are all living our quieter COVID lives, cranes and scaffolds have taken to the city. But while we all know about the exciting Cross-River Rail developments and undoubtedly the new metro projects taking place, you might be wondering, what else is going on in Brissy?
With no better time to build, the construction industry has been hard at work changing the entire landscape of our city—including hotels, casinos, parklands, entertainment centres and bridges. By the time COVID is a distant memory, these developments might just be open and ready for you to dive feet first back into the busy city scene.
So mark your calendar, here are some of the exciting upcoming developments across Brisbane to keep an eye out for.
You may have spotted some cranes hard at work along George Street this year, but what you didn’t know is that you were actually looking at your soon-to-be favourite new venue in Brisbane, Queen’s Wharf. Not just another skyscraper, the 12-hectare Queen’s Wharf will be the latest urban playground to hit Brisbane’s city scape. Expect a brand-new cutting edge Star Casino, world-class hotels boasting 1000+ rooms including The Ritz-Carlton, 40,000 square metres of retail space, and stunning views of the river from the extravagant sky deck. The plans are complete, the designs have been hatched—all that’s left now is to wait for construction to complete to enjoy this 5-star paradise. Bring on 2025.
Grab your golf clubs and get swinging while you can—Victoria Park Golf Course is set to shut its doors come 2021. But don’t panic, something bigger and bolder is ready to take its place, with a breathtaking 45-hectare public parkland in line for the location. The expansive development is set to host an impressive blend of natural wonders and urban architecture, bringing city dwellers closer to nature with a canopy walk and tree house surrounding the stunning lake Barrambin, a community garden and a cultural hub—all scheduled for construction to begin in the next year.
All theatre lovers, ballet buffs and opera fanatics across the South East are in for a treat, as plans are well underway to establish a new theatre for the Queensland Cultural Centre at South Bank, adding more seats for us to fill, and transforming Queensland Performing Arts Centre into the largest of its kind in Australia. The facility itself will steal your breath away before the live shows even get a chance to, with a stunning glass veneer adorning the building face, and grand foyers leading to the world-class multi-level theatre spaces designed by leaders in the industry. The ambitious project is aimed to be completed in 2022, just enough time to recover from our COVID blues and jump right back into the performing arts scene.
This is the one you’ve been waiting for: state-of-the-art entertainment precinct, Brisbane Live. With bipartisan support, the 17,000-seat cultural mega hub has been given the green light to set its root right in the heart of the city at Roma Street, bringing our entertainment dreams to life in the one arena (think LA Live in Los Angeles, and T-Mobile in Las Vegas), with all new eateries, retail outlets, accommodation and extravagant outdoor amphitheatres. The highly anticipated project won’t even start for a few years yet, but it never hurts to start saving for all those concerts tickets we’ll be buying.
Eagle Street Pier
Keep a keen eye over Eagle Street, as the pier and office precinct are promised a face lift over the coming years. Dexus has big plans to revitalise the area with the Waterfront Place development, a project which will see two remarkable new towers take over the water-side location, as well as a brand spanking new city-cat terminal. Being that the area is known for its dining scene, you can absolutely expect plenty of restaurants, cafes and retail stores to be a major part of the final design. The stunning waterfront landmark is set to finish construction in 2026, but don’t worry, you can enjoy a riverside walk through the vibrant new promenade as soon as 2024.
Fortitude Valley Station
Good news fellow public transport travellers—Fortitude Valley Station is getting a much-needed makeover. LaSalle has answered our prayers and is investing millions into the old decrepit and crusty station to transform it into a sparkling new shopping and transit precinct: The Valley Metro. Gone will be the old Brunswick Street entrance—a new high-ceiling canopy opening will soon take its place. Even more, above the train station will be a contemporary hub of new shopping and retail opportunities for travellers and valley dwellers alike, complete with a cinema. Can’t wait to swipe your Go Card at the new Fortitude Valley station? Keep up to date with the renovations here.
Fish Lane Town Square
More changes are happening just down the road from the QPAC renovations, at the South Brisbane food haven, Fish Lane. If you haven’t visited before (I would highly recommend doing so), this popular little eat street packed to the brim with bustling local restaurants and cafes is planning to create Fish Lane Town Square: an all new semi-alfresco seating, dining and entertainment area. The Town Square will still have that same trendy inner-city vibes Fish Lane is known for, just with 3000 more plants, loads more seats and plenty of room for leisure, all set to open right in time for next year’s Fish Lane Festival.
As if we didn’t already love West End enough, the city keeps on surprising us. What should be a simple old apartment building in the residential area, is in fact, a vibrant retail village and recreational mecca. This year alone, West Village is set to welcome the well-established Metro Arts into its vicinity, introducing underground theatres, galleries, and rehearsal studios to the premise. And that’s just 2020—in 2021, the Village will open its doors to new retail outlets, as well as establish community greens in a third stage of development called ‘The Eaves.’ We’re so hyped to experience the Village in full action, and the best part is, we won’t have to wait long at all.
You may think Brisbane has enough bridges, but if you’ve ever wanted to ‘quickly’ cross over from St Lucia to West End, you’d realise you are mistaken. This is exactly what Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner plans to address, with the vision to introduce 5 new green bridges to the Brisbane river, much to our delight. From Toowong to West End, St Lucia to West End, Kangaroo Point to the CBD and at Breakfast Creek and Bellbowrie, these public transport, pedestrian and cycle bridges will make it just that bit easier to navigate the city, without the hustle of walking a million miles for the closest crossing. So keep an eye out over the next few years—the nearest bridge may be closer than you think.
In the meantime though, you can just check out Brisbane’s new eateries.
Image credit: Brisbane Development, Richards & Spence