Aria Upscales as Brisbane Olympic Precinct Goes Big

It seems it is a case of go big or go home in Brisbane’s 2032 Olympics precinct.

Developer Aria Property Group is the latest to make its move to run with the game-changing pack and seize the opportunity of an emerging new vision for the inner-city hub.

It has filed upscaled plans for its Canopy House apartment tower already under construction on a 1500sq m site at the corner of Leopard and Vulture streets, Kangaroo Point.

Under the revised proposal, Aria is seeking to increase the building height from its approved 22 storeys to 30 storeys and residential density from 105 to 136 apartments.

The extra 31 apartments would be spread across an additional seven floors.

As well, more carparking spaces would be provided—up from 194 to 22—necessitating an additional podium level.

Communal recreational amenity also would be expanded to span two levels.

Below the rooftop—with an infinity pool, daybeds, residents dining room and lounge, picnic lawn and barbecue terraces— a health and wellness centre would feature a gym, treatment room, sauna, steam room, hot and cold plunge pools as well as work-from-home offices, boardroom and private cinema.

According to the change application, the upsized tower scheme was designed “to reflect recent significant changes in the future planning of the locality and the importance of the site as a key gateway to the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games precinct”.

The site at 58-62 Leopard Street is within the mapped expansion of the Woolloongabba Priority Development Area announced in February and expected to be formally declared later this year.

A planning assessment report supporting Aria’s revised proposal said under Brisbane’s inner city strategy and the Woolloongabba PDA draft precinct, Leopard Street was earmarked as “the key future iconic boulevard connecting the city to the Games precinct”.

“As a result, the site will be a critical corner site that will be passed by masses of people and feature highly in media during both the Olympic and Paralympic Games and regular sporting events,” it said.

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▲ Renders of Aria’s original approved tower (left) and the revised upsized proposal for the Kangaroo Point site.

“It is important that development on the site respects government investment into the Games and leaves an exceptional legacy for the area and its residents.

“For these reasons, the subject site provides not only a significant opportunity to create a landmark development to propel the next generation of revitalisation in the neighbourhood plan area but a responsibility to do so.”

The report cited several concept designs—including multi-tower mixed-use proposals up to 40 storeys such as Station Square and Trilogy—that have recently been unveiled reflecting the significant Olympics-induced private sector development proposed for the area, all of which exceed the current building heights limits.

“The intentions for the area have dramatically changed,” it said.

It deemed the strategic planning framework under the Kangaroo Point South Neighbourhood Plan was outdated and had been “overtaken by significant recent events”.

Current circumstances—including housing supply and affordability issues, new inner-city housing strategies, sustainable growth precincts, priority development areas and investment in projects and infrastructure for the Olympics—had “significantly altered” what the state and council want to see for the area and meant “the community’s expectations about the form and scale of development in the locality are no longer linked to the provisions of the Kangaroo Point South Neighbourhood Plan”.

“Big changes are coming to inner city Brisbane,” the report said. “These circumstances are changing the planning intent for our city as well as the community’s expectations of what the city will look like in the next decade.

“Rather than full adherence to planning documents that were prepared prior to the current set of circumstances and have been overtaken by events, we need to seize the opportunity before us and provide development outcomes that support the future vision of the city.”

As had occurred in the Kurilpa precinct—one of five areas identified for sustainable growth in Brisbane’s inner city and recently approved for significant building height increases—the “aspirations for development and the implementation of new planning strategies will soon see the current framework superseded”, the report said.

“Brisbane City Council has recently announced that it will be assisting the state government with the Woolloongabba Sustainable Growth Precinct planning, which is expected to similarly replace the Kangaroo Point South Neighbourhood Plan, with a plan that looks to support additional building heights, density, walkability and liveability.” 

Article source: Queensland Property Investor