Luxury towers for ABC site despite push for community park
Two or more luxury 15-level unit towers are likely to be built on the old Toowong ABC site, scotching hopes for a regional park.
Company chair, Don O'Rourke, said this morning that he was planning 200 to 250 units, which would mean each would have to be ultra up-market to pay for the huge cost of the land.
He said community consultation would begin soon. The project is believed to be code assessable, meaning residents will have objection rights.
Neighbours said there had been night-time work involving diggers and excavators recently.
Large, uncovered trucks were seen removing material from the site about 3am late last week.
Former owner Sunland put it on the market last year after reclusive multimillionaire entrepreneur Richard Bell and his wife Kate took Sunland's "champagne flutes'' towers to court in 2015.
The Bells, who bought a $1.27 million propery next to the ABC site just before Sunland's plans emerged, had a very rare win in court with Sunland's plans knocked back.
After licking its wounds, Sunland put the 1.5ha riverfront site on the international and domestic market.
Two other undisclosed "partners'' are involved in the Consolidated deal, with one speculated to be the Bells, who own a large chunk of Mexican restaurant franchise Guzman Y Gomez and other investments.
It is understood prominent unit developer David Devine bid for the property but was unsuccessful.
Local Greens MP Michael Berkman has spearheaded a community campaign to return the ABC site to the community.
It was sold by a former federal Labor Government after a cancer cluster was discovered among female ABC staff.
Many units and houses in the surrounding area have Save the ABC Site signs.
Mr Berkman had called on Council and the State Government to buy the property and turn it into a regional park.
A survey he conducted last year also showed strong support for a pool. The nearby Toowong Council pool was closed some years ago.
A community centre was also supported by some respondents.
But Council repeatedly said it was interested in buying only part of the sprawling site, for a proposed "green'' bridge to West End.
It is not believed to be one of the two undisclosed partners.
Consolidated said the supposedly "contaminated'' ABC buildings had since been demolished or remediated.
Chief operating officer, James MacGinley, said the site was arguably the best residential riverfront address in Brisbane.
"We're thrilled to have acquired the landmark site and look forward to transforming it into luxury, riverfront apartments over the coming years,'' Mr MacGinley said.
"While it's still early days, we're eager to continue to work with the local residents and Brisbane City Council in determining the best outcome for the community, all the while preserving the heritage building onsite,'' he said.
Concept planning for the site is now under way.
Originally published as Luxury towers for ABC site despite push for community park