Who Is Your Choice for Brisbane’s Queen’s Wharf Casino? 7

Friday, January 16th, 2015
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The two designs for Brisbane’s Queens Wharf integrated casino resort development are now on show to the public.

James Packer’s Crown Resorts has teamed up with Chinese property developer Greenland Holdings Group alongside architects Woods Bagot and Bates Smart.

Destination Brisbane Consortium, which is led by Echo Entertainment, operator of Brisbane’s only casino, the Treasury, has teamed up with Chinese property developers Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium alongside Cottee Parker Architects.

Queen’s Wharf marks the place where Brisbane started 180 years ago. State-owned land, the area contains significant heritage buildings, a number of under-utilised government buildings as well as neglected riverfront land under the Riverside Expressway.

The key issues the Queensland Government has demanded the proposal address are for an integrated resort development which attracts visitors and investment, reconnects the activity of the Brisbane city centre to the river, preserves and celebrates Brisbane’s heritage, and delivers high quality public spaces.

A decision is due later this summer.

Greenland Crown Proposal

Greenland Crown is proposing a mixed-use precinct with an active waterfront and new public places for the community to enjoy live sports broadcasts, fashion, arts, music, markets and public celebrations. The heritage buildings will also be revitalised and made more accessible to the public.

Facilities include Brisbane’s first luxury six-star hotel and two new five-star hotels. A new pedestrian bridge to South Bank will feature a breathtaking, suspended waterfall. The consortium plans to partner with the Queensland Government to construct a new theatre accommodating around 2000 people, which will attract shows currently not coming to Brisbane, as well as create a unique function centre with a transparent glass canopy which will hold signature events and accommodate 1,200 people.

“With Greenland and our world-class architects, I am committed to building something truly spectacular – a landmark precinct for the people of Queensland,” said Crown Resorts chairman James Packer.

Over 3,500 new direct and indirect jobs during resort construction and over 5,400 direct and indirect on-going jobs are planned with the precinct forecast to receive an estimated 8 million visits per annum.

crown south wharf

Destination Brisbane Consortium Proposal

The Destination Brisbane Consortium proposal similarly has been designed as a vibrant, mixed-use precinct providing 24/7 appeal to locals and visitors alike.

“Cottee Parker Architects are proud to be part of Destination Brisbane Consortium’s iconic bid to transform Brisbane’s CBD, as Lead Designers of the core integrated resort development,” said Cottee Parker director Rob Cottee.

“Merging Brisbane’s unique subtropical living and world class architecture, the proposal features a stunning curved building and an elevated “sky deck” that is publicly accessible to all. Inspired by the Queensland Verandah, the Sky Deck is designed to offer the people of Brisbane spectacular 360-degree views of the river, the city and its surrounds and will become an iconic focal point for the city.”

Destination Brisbane’s “whole-of-precinct” vision will activate and connect South Bank, the CBD and Queens Street Mall, by transforming the heritage Treasury casino buildings into a premium shopping experience and a new six-star Ritz Carlton hotel, and by building a new pedestrian bridge to South Bank with a new lyric theatre at QPAC. The iconic architecture and public realm have been developed as a quintessentially Brisbane landmark, emphasizing Brisbane’s unique subtropical climate, lifestyle, cityscape and heritage assets.

The integrated resort will also feature:

  • Five new premium hotel brands, including Ritz-Carlton and Rosewood
  • 50 restaurants and bars, from hatted fine dining restaurants to pop-up cafes
  • Dozens of unique attractions, including a spectacular water and light show, playing several times each night in the new “River Arena”
  • Ball rooms, function spaces, cinemas including a rooftop moonlight cinema
  • A new lyric theatre at QPAC
  • Riverfront moonlight cinema
  • 12 football fields of public event space
  • A new Queensland hotel and hospitality school

Over 8,000 jobs are planned to be generated with the precinct forecast to receive 1.39 million additional tourists per annum.

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Additional images and flythroughs can be found on the dedicated websites of each consortium.

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  1. antony

    Echo, without a shadow of a doubt. Once in a lifetime chance for Brisbane to have that skydeck is something big cities would dare dream about i would say. And Brisbane has the perfect climate to use it all year round.

  2. Andy Pickard

    Point 1 – as long as something gets built to help push further regeneration in Brisbane then I am happy. But if pushed to choose a scheme then Echo Entertainment. It seems a more refined proposal with a better focus on not just tourists but locals.

  3. Richard

    The Destination Brisbane Consortium has nailed it in my opinion. Well considered for Brisbane and sensitive to the heritage components. The George St entry will really enliven that part of the city. and that sky deck will be an amazing attraction as well as the roof top cinema area. The subtropical feel to the restaurant deck area on the Casino level with many links back into the city and southbank are just superb. I want this to happen!

  4. George F

    The Destination Brisbane Consortium's design looks great. It seems to have more going on around the buildings, particularly along the river. I like the curved edge extending into the river and all the trees, feels like Brisbane. I'm not a gambler so getting a developer to improve the public spaces in our city is a great idea.

    I guess the current government can't award a winner now that we're in election mode. Will labor follow through with the project if they gain power?

    • Kelly Remos

      Great point George. I agree with your design selection and on the overall status of this project – which may never happen. to be honest, I am all for urban development, but do we need another casino?

  5. Greg

    Personally I prefer Greenland/Crown's design, but with the election happening and the government in caretaker mode who knows if we'll ever see either?

  6. Robert H

    God said to Noah there's gonna be a floody floody….

    Will be interesting to see the development application and EIS.