The former ABC site in Toowong has been sold to another developer which has plans to build a waterfront residential precinct sometime in mid-2022, pending the submission of a development application.
Consolidated Property Group bought the prime riverside property from Sunland for $43.5 million after months of negotiations. Sunland, which purchased the ABC site in 2013 for $20 million, also proposed a residential development, which was rejected at the Supreme Court in 2018.
James MacGinley of Consolidated Property Group said that they are hoping to have two or three residential buildings with 200 to 250 dwellings on the 1.5-hectare lot. The development will also include a waterfront open space and wider cycle paths to link to St Lucia’s Bicentennial Bikeway.
However, the design still hinges on Council’s upcoming Green Bridge development, which is still in the public consultation process. Mr MacGinley said that they will “welcome the bridge on our site” and look forward to transforming the precinct into a luxury riverfront community.
Don O’Rorke, the chief executive of Consolidated Property Group, said that they have a more “conventional vision” for the former ABC site and will follow a code-assessed application. Potentially, the heritage-listed Middenbury House could be transformed for public use as well, either as a spa or restaurant.
Maiwar Greens MP Michael Berkman has staunchly called on the Council and the State Government to buy back the ABC site to develop as a public community space. He said that this new deal between Sunland and Consolidated Property Group was a missed opportunity “to return this site to public hands.”
“I do think it’s positive that the green bridge could still land here, as my understanding from hundreds of conversations with west side locals is there’s overwhelming community support for this,” Mr Berkman said in a statement. “I’m concerned the developer hasn’t specified how much of the land will be public space, and how accessible it’ll be, or what form that might take.”
“Under our incredibly broken planning laws, the community has no genuine consultation or appeal rights on this development because it’ll be Code Assessable. This is exactly why we need to overhaul the Planning Act and make all major developments impact assessable.”
“The developer has indicated they’ll seek community input on planning the site, so my focus now is ensuring residents’ voices are heard. Stay tuned for next steps.”