Brisbane will get a tropical urban park and 12 mini-eateries right beneath the overhead rail lines where they run past the Fox Hotel towards South Brisbane train station.
But first, approval is needed from the Brisbane City Council.
The “cement, street-art and landscaped gardens” park will be an extension of the emerging Fish Lane area at South Brisbane.
Aria Property Group has proposed a mix of urban park, bar, restaurant and 12 eateries be built between Melbourne Street and Fish Lane.
Three heritage-listed properties in Melbourne and Grey streets will remain.
South Brisbane’s Fish Lane runs off Grey Street opposite the Queensland Museum back in towards West End.
It runs parallel to Melbourne Street.
In 2012, Fish Lane became a shared road space, allowing restaurants, cafes and inner-city apartments to flourish, courtesy of former lord mayor Campbell Newman’s Vibrant Laneways policy.
In documentation submitted to the council, Aria said it wanted to redevelop a section of Fish Lane that was “substantially underutilised”.
“The development will transform what is currently a substantially underutilised area of South Brisbane [using the] highest principles of urban subtropical design including landscaped pods and climbing planters, public artwork, public bench seating, creative lighting and outdoor dining,” it said.
The Fish Lane Town Centre proposal means:
- A stand-alone demountable cafe/bar tenancy and public dining areas beneath the South Brisbane railway overpass;
- Redevelopment of the existing Quinn House building at 63 Melbourne Street (beside the Fox Hotel) to accommodate a restaurant/bar tenancy; and
- Establishment of 12 retail/dining/bar tenancies at 49 Melbourne Street, including redevelopment of the existing building and the extension to Fish Lane.
On the corner of Melbourne and Grey streets, the state government heritage-listed National Australia Bank Building, now known as Ng House, will be untouched.
The NAB bank branch opened in 1929 as South Brisbane boomed after World War I.
The Fox Hotel, which opened as the Terminus Hotel in 1927 and is council heritage-listed, will also remain untouched.
On Grey Street, the old Commonwealth Bank Building, now known as the Design Bank, will not change but a two-storey building will be built behind it on Foote Lane.
It also opened in 1929 to try to capture custom from the wharf merchants and traders in South Brisbane.
The two banks were each built on one of the first 30 blocks of land identified in South Brisbane in land sales of 1854.
An October 2018 report from heritage consultant Ruth Woods says the development will make these heritage properties more visible.
“The proposed works will not have any impact on the cultural heritage significance of the heritage places which they adjoin,” her report says.
“The proposed new facades to the existing buildings at 63 and 49 Melbourne Street will be more empathetic to the heritage facades they are adjoining.
“In all cases the form and materiality of the new work are sufficiently different and designed in a contemporary manner which will not blur the cultural heritage significance of the heritage buildings.”
The developers argue the space under the South Brisbane railway line detracts from the overall emerging Fish Lane strip.
"The development transforms an underutilised space which currently detracts from the vibrancy of Fish Lane and opens up what is currently secured and private land to the public for their enjoyment and recreation,” reports to Brisbane City Council say.
If it received public approval, the work, still being negotiated with Queensland Rail, will be completed over four stages.
The development is impact assessable, which means the public can make submissions on the project.
Public submissions will be accepted up until March 5.