‘Better Uses’ Than Parking at Toowong Central Site, Say Residents

A debate is unfolding over plans to construct a temporary parking station at the former Woolworths site in Toowong Central. 

Read: Stalled Development at Toowong Site Sparks Community Debate

When public consultations came to a close on May 14, nearly 30 submissions from Toowong residents were received, mostly objecting to the development application.

Aerial photograph of site (Photo credit: Brisbane City Council/Urbis)

“I believe there are better uses for the space, such as creating a communal area,” said one resident. “There is an opportunity here to enhance the Toowong neighbourhood and benefit the community – something yet another car park will not achieve.”

Plans call for 86 standard parking spaces, four disabled spots, and four motorcycle spaces accessed via existing crossovers on Sherwood Road, High Street, and Jephson Street. The parking station at Toowong Central would operate 24/7 under third-party management.

Plan (Photo credit: Egis)

The site lies adjacent to the Toowong Tower, Village Shopping Centre, Royal Exchange Hotel, Toowong Train Station and other residential and commercial developments at the core of the Toowong Centre Precinct. 

“The intersection of High Street and Coronation Drive is regularly congested – even outside peak traffic hours – from cars entering Toowong village, and traffic on Jephson street and Sherwood street is regularly backed up due to the various intersections around the block of Toowong Village,” another resident wrote in their submission.

Photo credit: Google Street View

“Adding even more traffic – especially around peak times – by adding a carpark would render the entire area to be unusable for cars, and would mean that public transport (specifically the many buses that travel along High Street and Moggill Road) is severely impacted,” the resident added.

Planners claim the temporary parking will “assist with the activation of the site” and improve accessibility for nearby businesses and commuters until further development occurs.

However, Greens MP Michael Berkman questioned the need, stating “Pretty baffling given there’s a giant multi-level car park just across the road at Toowong Village.” 

Read: Toowong Village Named State’s Top Retail Property After Major Makeover

As the discussion continues, the Toowong community finds itself divided between developers seeking to provide convenient parking and residents hoping to preserve greenspace and community amenities in one of Brisbane’s most rapidly densifying suburbs.

Published 14-May-2024

20-Storey Apartment Building Proposed for High Street in Toowong

A 20-level apartment building has been proposed for 58-60 High Street in Toowong.

The development application submitted by Nan Xin Brisbane Toowong Ltd Pty proposes the construction of a residential tower right at the corner of High Street and Ebor Street. The plan calls for 171 apartment units consisting of 78 one-bedroom units, 84 two-bedroom units and nine three-bedroom units.

Proposed residential building Toowong
Photo credit: pdonline.brisbane.qld.gov.au

Describing Toowong as a nexus between the leafy suburbs and the city, the developer says that it aims to build a tower with communal outdoor rooms and leafy neighbourhood backyard for the residents. To realise this, the plan boasts three double-height outdoor rooms that can be shared by residents.

Proposed residential building Toowong
Communal outdoor rooms (Photo credit: pdonline.brisbane.qld.gov.au)

The common spaces, which will include a patio and a BBQ space for gatherings and family get-togethers, will be surrounded by green walls, trees and shrubs.

Retail spaces will dominate the ground level with alfresco seating adjacent to the footpath. The main entrance will also be activated by retail and dining areas.

Proposed residential building Toowong
Photo credit: pdonline.brisbane.qld.gov.au

Car spaces will be located at the back of the size through an access easement. This way, it will free up the High Street frontage for public pedestrian use. The development will provide 204 car spaces, 174 of which will be for residents. There will also be space for 30 motorbikes and 214 bicycles.

On the roof will be lush, green gardens for relaxation and social activities. The roof garden will offer residents panoramic views of the mountains, the city and the river. The communal space will also incorporate a swimming pool, a gym, and BBQ terraces. The greeneries and pergolas will help bring shade and minimise the strength of the afternoon sun.

Proposed residential building Toowong
Photo credit: pdonline.brisbane.qld.gov.au

Development Snapshot:

Find out more about Development Application A005076003.

Brisbane’s First Italian Restaurant Mama Luigi’s Property Could be Relocated to Toowong

A historic Italian restaurant property on St Pauls Terrace, Fortitude Valley, could be moved to St Osyth Street in Toowong should a change to a development application get approval.

Berson Properties Pty Ltd initially requested to demolish the house at 240 St Pauls Terrace where the Mama Luigi’s used to operate. The restaurant stopped operating in the 1980s, but the name still brings many dear memories to those who remember. To many, back in the day, it was the first time they tasted Italian cuisine.

Mama Luigi’s was the first Italian restaurant in the whole of Brisbane. Historians also believe that this may have been the first foreign food restaurant in the city.

When the developer proposed to demolish the property, many locals voiced their opposition. The house is not heritage listed and the only protection it has is its inclusion in the Pre-1911 building overlay. The property was added to the Brisbane City Plan Pre-1911 list on 1 December 2017.

Possible Move to Toowong

Because of the Pre-1911 building protection, the developer is now proposing a transfer of the property to 15 St Osyth Street in Toowong. The Toowong site owner, J Hutchinson Pty Ltd, has consented to the proposed transfer.

St Osyth Street, Toowong

The proposed site for the transfer currently has an existing dwelling house, which was built after 1946. Since the existing property is not heritage-listed and does not fall under Pre-1911 building overlay or commercial character building overlay, Berson Properties is proposing to demolish it to accommodate the former Mama Luigi’s house.

Berson Properties believes that the Toowong site is suitable for the Pre-1911 property as it is subject to the Traditional Building Character Overlay. This, the developer says, will ensure that the building character will be secured.

Despite what seems to be a compromise, people opposed to the demolition are still not happy with the proposed transfer.

Councillor Jared Cassidy believes that the building should be retained at its original location. He thinks that the proposed transfer would remove the property from the site where it is associated and such action would just be as bad as demolition.

The council has done an initial review of the change in the DA. It is asking the applicant to provide further details about the protection of the building during relocation as well as other issues such as flood risk, a tree that could be removed and existing stormwater infrastructure in the Toowong site.

Learn more about the DA (A004903937).