CHINATOWN'S TRIPLE THREAT
Written on the 11 July 2014 by Laura Daquino
FORGOTTEN for years, now being revitalised with what has been named a “triple threat” by a Perth-based development consortium.
The 20-year dormant site adjacent to Chinatown Mall in Fortitude Valley will be brought back to life following the council approval of a residential, hotel and retail precinct.
The $250 million dollar project, developed by Twin Ocean Group and Sunfire Asset, will occupy a 3,000 square metre site at 188 Wickham Street.
The Valley is currently undergoing a makeover, attending to a Brisbane hotel shortage and a preconception it is a night-time trading scene.
Despite a number of projects going ahead in the area, Twin Ocean Group managing director Tim Jones is confident that 188 Wickham Street’s planned 2016 completion date will appeal to the market.
"We have been planning this project for over 18 months and have engaged some of the best building, research and engineering consultants,” says Jones.
“Our award-winning architects, Nettletontribe, have drawn on their intimate knowledge of designing world-standard mixed-use projects and the result will be an attractive investment for apartment buyers and retailers looking to live or do business less than one-kilometre from Brisbane’s CBD.
“The project will not only be a landmark development but also act as the focal gateway into the Valley and Chinatown Mall.”
The first stage of the project, a 30-level residential tower with 187 apartments, will commence in the third quarter of 2014 and has attracted significant interest to date.
Above an entertainment and retail precinct, the tower will comprise an exclusive club-style residents’ lounge with Wi-Fi hot desks, a transparent podium pool deck fronting Wickham Street and a landscaped rooftop terrace with function facilities.
This is in keeping with the developer trend toward implementing more hotel-like facilities in residential contexts, as competition in the market increases.
While 188 Wickham Street is contending with a number of other developments, Colliers International director of residential Andrew Roubicek says it “ticks all of the investment boxes”.
“It is arguably positioned in one of the best locations in the Valley from both investment and liveability perspectives,” says Roubicek, adding that 188 Wickham Street is within a 200-metre radius of bus and train networks and prices start at $375,000 for a one-bedroom first stage apartment.
The final two stages of the development will feature a 25-level, 198-apartment hotel overlooking Wickham Street and set back toward Ranwell Lane and a 24-level residential tower containing 135 apartments.
The hotel is set to operate as a 4 to 4.5 star facility. Jones says since its late May approval, it has already “drawn enquiries from a number of international hotel chains”.