The Herston Quarter in the Herston Health Precinct, 2 kilometres north of the Brisbane Central Business District is to be re-developed. It is situated on an area of 5 hectares next to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. The cost is estimated to be $1.1 billion and the time scale, a decade.
Australian Unity is undertaking the re-development. It is Australia’s largest independent healthcare landlord with assets of $1.6 billion. For almost two decades it has worked with hospital management operators to design, develop and manage hospital infrastructure assets throughout the country.
Its Herston Quarter proposal aims to provide access to the best possible aged care, hospital and general health facilities for Queenslanders. It is envisages further enhancement of the Herston Health Precinct’s public and private health facilities and opportunities for cutting-edge medical research. It foresees making it a global benchmark which adds to Brisbane’s ongoing development as a modern New World city with its exciting new projects currently commencing or planned to begin. Part of Australian Unity’s approach is to incorporate reinvigorated heritage buildings (such as the return of the historic Lady Lamington buildings to student accommodation) while developing a new health future for the city and beyond. It is working in partnership with the Queensland government which approved the development scheme in December 2017, Metro North Hospital and Health Service which owns the Herston site, Hassell, and Watpac. It has been declared a Priority Development Area (PDA) ensuring the development which is seen as so essential to the public’s wellbeing, is fast-tracked.
Development of the site is underpinned by efforts to encourage collaborative interaction, socialisation and innovation. To this end, the 10 year project planned involves numerous integrated buildings. These include a new private hospital with medical suites with commercial space and potential for biomedical space, aged care and retirement residences, child care facilities, student and residential accommodation, and as artist’s impressions of the proposed development reveal, a number of attractive public spaces with improved car parking.
It is another Brisbane project of significant economic benefit: around 700 jobs will be generated during construction and hundreds of jobs when fully operational. Stage 1 of the project has commenced and is expected to be completed by 2020. It entails site preparation and demolition of the former Royal Children’s’ Hospital, excavation of bedrock areas, the upgrading of Herston Road, construction of a specialist public health facility, construction of Spanish Steps and other public areas and the upgrading of internal roads. Stage 2 commences late in the current year (2018) and is expected to take 10 years. The Lady Lamington Nurses’ Home, the Edith Cavell Building, the Lady Norman Building and the Lady Lamington North and South Towers will all be refurbished. Retirement and Aged Care Buildings will be constructed along with residential development buildings and a new private hospital. A new car park will be constructed in the Northern Precinct.