The $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf Project and other eye-catching initiatives currently underway are set to transform Brisbane City’s night life and prove as a catalyst for future tourism initiatives. The integrated casino-resort, now under construction, covers more than 12 hectares of land in Brisbane’s CBD. The precinct, due to open in 2022 is being described as “a unique urban resort in the heart of the city” and in its wake, is expected to become a magnet for south-east Queensland, interstate and global tourism. Opening access to the river and bay beyond, the precinct will highlight some of the city’s most historic sites.
Over 50 restaurants, numerous cafes, bars and microbreweries are set to join the casino-resort, which will see employment opportunities flourish and a push in the right direction for the economy. The development includes retail space to welcome international brands to Australia, levelling the playing field with competing shopping districts such as the Gold Coast’s “Pacific Fair Shopping Centre”. A rooftop Sky Deck providing 360 degree views with a glass floor is certain to attract visitors and residents alike. Designers, seizing every opportunity for economic growth, have ensured that this expansion will reward residents and tourists for many years to come.
It is estimated that the Queen’s Wharf development will not only attract almost one and a half million visitors to Brisbane each year, but will pave the way for allied tourism initiatives and infrastructure. With many more tourists looking for more to do, the prospects are encouraging for this additional, “organic” development. The further likelihood is that with so much to attract visitors, they will stay for longer periods, increasing tourism expenditure and a much needed boost for hospitality industries.
The national director of city-shaping specialists, Urbis, regards the Queen’s Wharf Development as a central aspect in a series of entertainment zones linked by being on or close to the Brisbane River. He perceives the developing image of the city as projecting a new, iconic image of Brisbane internationally with the city increasingly coming to life along its river banks. Howard Smith Wharves has already established itself in this manner while the Eagle Street Pier/City Reach section of the river’s edge has seen $1.4 billion planned investment on its precinct which creates mixed-use development and 1.5 hectares of new public space. New walkways and bikeways will link the Goodwill Bridge at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) to Queen’s Wharf. A new Waterline Park will make far more attractive the concrete jungle currently under the Riverside Expressway, with the recently opened W Hotel a centrepiece of the new Brisbane Quarter dining and retail precinct on North Quay.
A further proposal is a $2 billion “Brisbane Live” indoor arena as part of the Roma Street Station zone. This 15,000 seat venue would be within walking distance of Suncorp Stadium and is part of the Cross River Rail Initiative. Brisbane Live will bring not only world class acts to Brisbane, but provide a better use of existing infrastructure, more jobs both during development and after completion and an increase in retail and tourism activity.
In addition to the new infrastructure underway for Brisbane is the $3 billion upgrade to the Brisbane Airport. The 3.3 km long and 60 metres wide runway is due to be completed in 2020 and is supported by a 25 metre wide, 12 km system of taxiways making it the best runway system in Australia and effectively doubling its capacity. By 2035, it is predicted that the completion of the new component will have created 7,800 new jobs and contribute an additional $5 billion in annual economic benefit to the region.
These ongoing developments and planned infrastructure enhancements assure Brisbane and South East Queensland of future tourism prospects which will in turn, secure its standing as an advanced New Age city to be envied.