‘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

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

Toowong Village has been named Retail Property of the Year at the 2023 Queensland Retail Property Awards, recognising the shopping centre’s innovative repositioning and marketing efforts following a major redevelopment.


Read: Toowong Village Revamps Its Retail Line Up


The property, owned by YFG Shopping Centres and managed by Retail First, underwent significant renovations over the past year to revitalise the complex. The project added new dining and entertainment options to create a lively restaurant precinct. 

In 2022, they welcomed Woolworths, TK Maxx, two international supermarkets, and a mix of specialty retailers. 

Photo credit: toowongvillage.com.au

According to the Property Council of Australia, which hosts the awards, Toowong Village stood out for transforming a ‘land-locked vertical asset’ through creative thinking.

“Toowong Village has been a strong performer across all Awards they entered this year, but it was their work in repositioning a land locked vertical asset through innovative development thinking and a corresponding marketing campaign that drove visitation, sales, and positive feedback that saw them take out the top prize,” the Property Council of Australia has stated.

One highlight of their marketing campaign was the Heart Gallery, a two-month exhibition from March to May 2023 showcasing works by local artists. The free event supported the community and arts whilst drawing customers to the reimagined property.

Retail First’s ‘The Heart Gallery’ campaign also won the Community Award at this year’s Retail Property Awards for Queensland.

Retail Property
Photo credit: Retail First Pty Ltd/LinkedIn

Property Council of Australia said the campaign was a unique drawcard, driving traffic and sales whilst fostering connections with community and charities and shone a light on local talent.

About Toowong Village

The site where Toowong Village now stands has a long history intertwined with the development of Brisbane’s inner west. In the early 20th century, the land housed Patterson’s Sawmill, which relied on the adjacent railway to transport timber and products.

Toowong Sawmill about 1916-17, sawing Queensland hoop pine logs from Brookfield-Enoggera area. This mill was burnt down in 1918 (Photo credit: John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

After the sawmill closed down, the prime location beside the Toowong train station was ripe for redevelopment. In 1986, the Toowong Village shopping centre and office tower opened on the former sawmill property.

Spanning over 40,000 sqm, Toowong Village transformed the old industrial site into a major retail and commercial hub. 

Retail Property
Photo credit: Suzanna Wong/Google Maps

In 2015, Toowong Village underwent a major $50 million redevelopment to modernise the dated complex. 

The $50 million modernisation of Toowong Village dramatically updated the shopping experience. Interiors were revamped with a simplified mall layout to improve navigation. The parking system was overhauled to make entering and exiting more efficient.


Read: Check Out These Brilliantly Painted Fiberglass Hearts at The Heart Gallery Exhibition In Toowong


The tired food court was refurbished with fresh dining options. An alfresco restaurant precinct was added along the front side of the complex on High Street. This new area allows patrons to enjoy dining outdoors along the bustling Sherwood Road.

Published 11-October-2023

Check Out These Brilliantly Painted Fiberglass Hearts at The Heart Gallery Exhibition In Toowong

Around 10 magnificent fibreglass hearts, adorned with breathtaking paintings by talented local Brisbane artists, are on display in an extraordinary exhibition at The Heart Gallery in Toowong Village that also seeks to support charitable causes.


Read: Toowong Village Revamps Its Retail Line Up


On display from 31 March to 31 May 2023, each work of art represents a local charity. Toowong Village will help share the love through an online auction, donating 100 percent of the proceeds raised from sales of each piece to its designated charity.

One such masterpiece, “Everything Old is Blue Again,” crafted by Michelle Grayson of Sprout Gallery and representing The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust, encapsulates the enchantment of blue and white artwork alongside captivating botanical drawings and paintings of flowers and plants.

Photo credit: Sprout Gallery/Facebook

Ms Grayson, primarily known for her expertise in watercolour art, occasionally ventures into the realm of acrylics as well. A few years ago, she ventured into the realm of textiles, establishing her own range, and she aspires to expand her creative endeavours into the realm of wallpaper in the future. 

For over two decades, Michelle has been showcasing and selling her original watercolour artwork, as well as prints, through Sprout Gallery, fostering her artistic journey.

Photo credit: Sprout Gallery/Facebook

The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust has been a stalwart supporter of countless grassroots charitable initiatives in Brisbane for decades now. Each year, the trust conducts multiple grant rounds to provide assistance to those in need. 

The Trust’s

support extends to various causes, including distributing toys during Christmas, donating Easter eggs to vulnerable children, aiding domestic violence refugees, assisting the homeless population, and supporting families facing food scarcity. 


Read: Toowong Village Shopping Centre Site to Get New Lease on Life


The Heart Gallery at Toowong Village is sponsored by Retail First. Those who are interested in bidding in the auction can go to https://oktion.com.au/

Published 27-April-2023

Woolworths Opens New Toowong Site After 5 Years

A new Woolworths site has finally opened at the Toowong Village on Sherwood Rd five years after the supermarket chain closed its stand-alone outlet on the opposite side of the road. 



The 4,000-sqm location, which officially welcomed shoppers on the 7th of December 2022, offers the full line and will have about 100 staff members to assist the customers. It’s the first new supermarket to open in Brisbane’s inner west after more than a decade.

In 2017, the old Woolworths opposite Toowong Village, which had been one of the very first supermarkets in the precinct, had to permanently close as the property was up for redevelopment as a multi-level residential and commercial centre.

Toowong Village, which recently revamped its retail lineup, has Coles on the ground floor and just welcomed The Source, a grocery store for bulk purchases. The shopping centre has two Asian supermarkets as well, Hanamart and Fresco. 

For the first time in 36 years, Toowong Village also upgraded its travelators and glass lifts to improve accessibility, especially for its senior customers.

The refurbishments and update come as Coles is also in the midst of an inner west expansion with Coles Local in Taringa and plans lodged for Bardon and Milton.

Woolworths Toowong
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Woolworths Toowong has taken over the space formerly occupied by David Jones at the gallery level of the shopping centre. 

The supermarket includes a new onsite bakery that serves freshly-baked bread, gourmet pastries and bespoke cakes. The outlet also features a large deli section and a sushi bar from Sushi Izu.

Woolworths Toowong is open as early as 7:00 a.m. amidst the Christmas rush. Incidentally during this holiday season, Toowong Village is offering ticketless free parking for the first three hours effective the 1st of December 2022. 



Absolutely incredible, words cannot describe how delighted I am for Woolworths to bless me with it’s presence, I have been counting down the days and staying up all night in anticipation for the opening. And Woolworths has delivered above and beyond, absolutely pogchamp, to say the least.

Angus

Beautifully presented store with really fresh produce and friendly staff. Smaller floor area than Woolworths Indooroopilly yet surprisingly had items I can’t find at Indro. Makes the Coles downstairs look like a Bi-Lo (sorry Coles!)

Nick

I have been looking forward to this Woolworths since it was announced. So excited to see it finally open and be just as good as I imagined. Very well presented store that I will be going to everytime I need groceries.

Matthew

Toowong Village Revamps Its Retail Line Up

Big changes are happening as Toowong Village adds new stores to its retail offerings during its ongoing refurbishment. Shoppers can now expect to see Woolworths, TK Maxx, and Fresco Supermarket, to name a few, open on or before 2022 ends.



 Hanaromart Toowong
Hanaromart Toowong | Photo Credit: Hanaromart / hanaromartonline.com

Asian grocery store, Hanaromart is now open on the ground level in the food court whilst another Asian supermarket, Fresco, is set to open its doors in late 2022. The 4,000-sqm Woolworths and TK Maxx are coming to the centre later this year as well.

“We are welcoming Woolworths, TK Maxx, two international supermarkets and a strong mix of specialty retailers. This will complement the already strong performing Coles, bespoke fresh food precinct, and the intimate village atmosphere,” Retail First, which manages the centre said.

Owners YFG Shopping Centres announced that the shake-up in Toowong Village’s retail lineup comes as the centre undergoes a redevelopment. At the Ground level, the lift at its Sherwood Road entry has been upgraded servicing B1 and Level 2 and will provide street access to Gallery Level once Woolworths, which will replace David Jones, opens in late 2022.



Gallery Level will be transformed into a new Fresh Food and Lifestyle precinct which is set to open in late November this year. ANZ will likewise open on the Gallery Level next to Bed Bath N’ Table in late September whilst Juniper & Co will relocate from Level 1.

Toowong Village will remain open during its redevelopment whilst keeping disruption to a minimum.

Toowong Village Shopping Centre Site to Get New Lease on Life

A childcare centre, with indoor sport and recreation area and community use facility, may soon open at Toowong Village Shopping Centre, if development plans are approved.

TTP Management Pty Ltd has lodged a development application seeking to transform the site, which is the former location of Sizzler – Toowong which permanently closed in 2016.



The development plans include the installation of three indoor spaces, three simulated play spaces, a dining area, a kids store, a canteen, an office space, and a reception area.

Proposed childcare center at Toowong Village Shopping Centre
Photo credit:  Brisbane City Council / developmenti.brisbane.qld.gov.au
Photo Credit: Airview Online

The new childcare centre at Toowong Village plans to operate from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. Meanwhile, the area for indoor sport, recreation, and community use will operate after the childcare centre’s operating hours. The facility may also include 24-hour operations on Saturdays and Sundays.

Interior of childcare centre
Photo credit:  Brisbane City Council / developmenti.brisbane.qld.gov.au

“The development is identified as being consistent with the purpose and overall outcomes of the Centre or mixed-use code and compliant with section A of the Centre or mixed-use code. A Code assessable development application is triggered as the proposed Child care centre is located in the A and B sub-categories of the Transport air quality corridor overlay,” a portion of the development application states. 

Play area of childcare centre at Toowong Village Shopping Centre
Photo credit:  Brisbane City Council / developmenti.brisbane.qld.gov.au

“As a result, the development is only assessable against section A of the Major Center zone code and section A, section B and PO2 of the Transport air quality corridor overlay code,” says the planners at Town Planning Alliance.

Recreation area at Toowong Village Shopping Centre
Photo credit:  Brisbane City Council / developmenti.brisbane.qld.gov.au


All construction works will occur indoors and there are no plans to increase the gross floor area of the tenancy or alter the current building footprint.

Planned Unit Tower Development Near Toowong Village Divides Residents

Toowong residents are divided over a proposed unit tower development near Toowong Village on Lissner Street following the completion of the public submissions process to support or object to the construction of the 14-storey building.



Some residents oppose the project because the property is under a Medium Density Zone Code, where the maximum building height should be eight storeys. They’ve also argued that the building is actually 15-storeys high because it includes a communal, open space rooftop structure.

“The site and all adjoining properties are subject to a maximum 8 storey building height in accordance with the Toowong—Auchenflower neighbourhood plan code. The proposal includes a building height of 14 to 15 storeys which is out of context with the community expectations for the area,” one resident wrote in the submissions for DA A005790548.

However, a section of the development is near the District Centre Zone, which allows for 20 storeys. Those who support the plan said that the height and density are justified even as the height transition will affect the neighbours on the north side since the shadow of the tower will block their views.

Photo Credit: MichaelBerkmanMP/Facebook

Some also question the density of the project as it will include both residential and commercial tenants, which will raise traffic and parking availability on Lissner and Augustus streets. 

“The Toowong Village loading dock is accessed via Lissner Street. This is a busy loading dock and large truck traffic will only increase with the opening of the Woolworths store planned for later this year.” 

Photo credit: Developmenti/BCC

Mosaic Property Group filed the development application for the residential and commercial tower with at least 100 units in July 2021 following three pre-lodgement meetings with Council. The developer said the project was inspired by the nearby iconic Regatta Hotel with an architecturally impressive podium design. 

“The podium design is constructed of breeze blocks with cascading planters,” one supporter said.  “The project architects have clearly considered the local character of the area such as the Queenslander homes and iconic Regatta building to inform the podium and overall architectural design which contributes to a sense of place and community pride.” 



During the said meetings, Mosaic’s planner said that Council gave merits to the proposal. 

“Council agreed that the arguments put forward by the applicant in providing an increased building height that provides a ‘transition’ between the higher and lower building height requirements in the area has merit from an urban design viewpoint,” the DA stated.

As of press time, the development is awaiting Council’s decision. 

Fresco, Woolworths to Replace David Jones in Toowong Village

David Jones has permanently closed in Toowong Village and the retailer’s site has already been snapped up by Fresco and Woolworths.



The first floor will become Fresco’s newest location following its bid to expand in Brisbane. In February 2021, Fresco opened its Pinelands Plaza (Sunnybank Hills) outlet and it is on track to open more supermarkets in Sunny Park, Runcorn and Calamvale.

The store offers wide-ranging Asian grocery items, as well as Western supermarket finds, fresh produce and meat, including seafood. Its Toowong site is an ideal market as it’s close to the University of Queensland, where there are many Asian students. The store will be ready to open when international students return to Queensland in 2022.

Meanwhile, David Jones Toowong Village’s gallery level will be occupied by Woolworths after closing a 10-year lease and it’s also due to open in 2022. 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In a statement, Retail First Managing Director Steven Bridges said that Woolworths’ addition will be great news for its loyal shoppers.

“We have been keen to secure Woolworths into Toowong Village since their long trading store opposite the Village closed on the 1st January 2017.  Woolworths’ commitment demonstrates industry confidence in Toowong Village, and further complements the Village’s strong trading fresh food hub.” 



Toowong Village has not yet confirmed who will move into the remaining space vacated by David Jones. The retailer has been holding its final sale before trading ends for good after 5:30 p.m. on Friday, 18 June 2021.

Homeware and bedding items have been put at half price whilst the clothes department for men, women and children have been selling at 30 percent discount. Cosmetics, lingerie and jewellery prices have also been significantly marked down.

Toowong Village Basement Upgrades Begin Stage 2

Good news for shoppers of Toowong Village! The replacement of the old travelators are now halfway through completion as Stage Two of the basement upgrades has begun.

Work on the second stage has been underway since 7 April 2021 with the full replacement of travelators 2 and 3 found at the centre’s first and second basement levels. 

Earlier, customers at Toowong Village were disrupted by the first stage of basement upgrades, which actually commenced in February 2021, as it cut off access from the parking to the ground floor level. Unfortunately, the Basement 2 carpark area has been temporarily closed as well.



Frequent visitors on the site, especially the elderly, said they will not be going to the stores whilst this facility cannot be used. The operators of Toowong Village explained that they had to replace the travelators as it was almost at the end of its lifecycle. The facility was never replaced since the building opened in 1986. 

Photo Credit: Toowong Village/Facebook

To compensate for the loss of parking spaces, Toowong Village opened more rooftop and Level 8 multi-deck parking spaces. 

“The best place to park is the multi-deck carpark, as centre access has remained unchanged,” the shopping cente operators said. “We do understand the inconvenience caused by these works, but wish to assure you the new equipment will improve reliability and efficiency in the future.” 

“If you have parked in the Basement levels, the travelator from Ground Level going down to Basement 1 or 2 levels will be in operation. You can also bring prams and strollers down the Ground level and Basement level travelators. If you have parked in the multi-deck, all travelators and lifts from Ground level to Rooftop level will be in operation.”



The centre has also offered concierge services and weekday parking validations for the temporary parking space at the ground level near Fruity Capers.

Toowong Village’s basement upgrades are expected to finish in June 2021.