Historic Howard Smith Wharves set for a luxury revitalisation
From shipping company storage in the 1930s, to air-raid shelters in the 1940s, the Howard Smith Wharves are soon to find a new purpose, with the plan for a complete revitalisation recently announced.
After requesting development proposals for the Howard Smith Wharves Revitalisation Project last year, Brisbane City Council have announced that Adam Flaskas and Elisha Bickle have been selected as the preferred development candidates, under the name HSW Nominees. The site, spanning over 3.43 hectares, will be transformed into a new mixed-use riverside precinct combining a luxury hotel, dining precinct and exhibition space, as well as a new public space and parklands. The wharves sit beneath the Story Bridge, and whilst minor repair works have been completed on the heritage buildings, they have remained vacant for more than 20 years.
The HSW Nominees concept plan does not include extensive development – 80 per cent of the precinct will be dedicated to open public space, which could be used for markets and festivals. The parkland and open spaces will also feature lifts linking the site to the top of the cliffs, which will also be accessed by the newly constructed New Farm Riverwalk. New buildings will occupy only 10 per cent of the site, including a proposed five-star 150-room boutique hotel, and underground car park, and a 1500-sqm exhibition space. The remaining 10 per cent involves the preservation of the original wharves, which will play home to a dining, retail and tourism centre. All buildings will remain low and neutral, allowing the cliffs to still be viewed from the river.
HSW Nominees has six months to submit a development application, with three years to develop the site once approved. Development approval is estimated to be obtained in the second half of 2015.