Vicinity Plans Seven-Tower Redevelopment at Brisbane Shopping Centre


Retail landlord Vicinity Centres is stepping up efforts to diversify its shopping mall portfolio, lodging plans for a mixed-use precinct of seven buildings at its Buranda Village Shopping Centre in Brisbane’s south-east.

The shopping centre, which opened in 40 years ago, sits on a 2.13ha island site at 264 Ipswich Road, Woolloongabba.

Vicinity is now planning to develop the dated, low-format shopping centre in a visually prominent location into a 8200sq m laneway-based, open-air retail and dining centre precinct featuring medium-rise towers.

The proposal for the mall site, designed by architecture firms Rothelowman and Hassell, will include four 15-storey residential buildings comprising 630 build-to-rent apartments.

It will also build two 15-storey commercial buildings comprising 40,000sq m and a 10-storey building offering 12,000 square metres.

Vicinity plans to retain all three 5-star Green Star rated commercial buildings which will accommodate a range of uses including retail, hotels and bars.

The precinct, will feature a 3400sq m Woolworths supermarket as well as 10 smaller retail tenancies.

Directly above the retail laneways will be a 3400sq m landscaped precinct, known as The Terraces, half of which will be publicly accessible, while the remaining section, including a swimming pool and barbecue, area will be reserved for tenants.

The development will include 1265 car parking spaces, 25 motorbike parking spaces and 710 bicycle spaces.

Vicinity will retain the existing heritage-listed ventilation, erected in 1913 by the South Brisbane Council on the corner of Cornwall Street and Ipswich Road, as a component of its Ipswich Road stormwater catchment system.

▲ The 21,300sq m site bound by Ipswich Road to the west, Tottenham Street to the north, Carl Street to the east and Cornwall Street to the south. Image: Rothelowman, Hassell

Vicinity chief development officer Carolyn Viney said the proposal had been inspired by Brisbane’s suburban village centres and would offer modern, flexible commercial office solutions that catered to the growing “work near home” demand.

“In addition to delivering everyday community needs to residents and workers, the plan also delivers a significant economic benefit, creating close to 580 jobs during construction and more than 3200 long-term jobs,” Viney said.

“This is a true mixed-use outcome where our offerings complement each other to create a modern and activated community while also taking advantage of the strong rail, bus and car transport links and the proposed Brisbane Metro Cross and River Rail services.”

The development will be delivered in three stages, with construction of the residential towers and 10,000sq m of new shopping centre upgrades planned first followed by the smaller of the three commercial towers in the second phase.

The Buranda Village redevelopment comes as a considerable amount of urban regeneration and significant public infrastructure projects break ground in the lead up to the 2032 Olympic games.

The shopping precinct is close to the Gabba stadium, just 3km from the 42,000 seater stadium, which is planned to be the heart of the Games and will be upgraded to hold 50,000 spectators as part of $1-billion redevelopment.

Nearby at Boggo Road, the delivery of the Cross River Rail station is expected to be a catalyst for significant investment and development in the locality.

▲ The seven-tower masterplan will be split into two precincts—the working and lifestyle precincts. Image: Rothelowman, Hassell

For Vicinity, the country’s second-largest retail landlord, the development application follows a series of similar plays across the country as it realises key elements in an ambitious diversification strategy.

The strategy was put in place three years ago by chief executive Grant Kelley in an effort to bolster its $26-billion real estate portfolio Vicinity manages as conditions in the retail sector weakened amid the rise of e-commerce.

The mall owner has been actively attempting to exploit its existing real estate holdings, building apartments, hotels and office towers on available space within its shopping centres.

The strategy has also struck a chord with the broader embrace of suburban living since the pandemic, which has increased demand for decentralised office accommodation.

Late last year the mall owner secured approval to build a 14,000sq m office tower at its Bayside centre in Melbourne’s south-east.

Vicinity is also planning to develop another 20,000sq m office building at Chadstone, which it co-owns with its biggest shareholder, billionaire John Gandel.

It also has plans at its Bankstown Central shopping centre in Sydney’s south-west for 900 apartments, a 700-guest room hotel and 300,000sq m of mixed-use space as part of a $1.3-billion redevelopment spanning 18 towers.

It is also well advanced on a new high-rise office and apartment buildings included in plans for an expansive redevelopment at its Box Hill shopping centre in Melbourne’s east.


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