$450m Toowong Town Centre build to take two years

The proposed Toowong Town Centre.
The proposed Toowong Town Centre.

The chance to live 25 storeys high in the heart of Toowong is one step closer with plans for the new $450 million Toowong Town Centre currently before council.

The State Development Corporation and White & Partners Sydney development application includes a 145-unit residential tower as part of a mixed-use precinct inspired by the open air, street style of The Grove Shopping Centre in Los Angeles.

The 9000sqm site between Jephson St, Sherwood Rd and High St welcomed one of Queensland’s first Woolworths supermarkets in 1956 and it is hoped the new development will invigorate the heart of this inner west transport hub once more.

The Grove Shopping Centre, Los Angeles has been an inspiration for the concept behind the Toowong Town Centre. Photo: Istock

“There’s a lot of public transport that converges in Toowong and we looked at how people move around and what’s there and what’s missing,” State Development Corporation managing director Ross McKinnon says.

“We didn’t want to duplicate Toowong Village, we want this to be its own centre, to add further amenity to Toowong.”

Beside the 25-storey commercial and residential tower with vehicular access via Sherwood Rd there will be a 16-storey office block with a ground floor supermarket, and a separate cinema complex along High Street.

The fountain can double as a stage area for public performances. Image: supplied

A porte cochere drop off zone will be located within the complex from Jephson St and an open public plaza will run through the complex to the main open space on the corner of Sherwood Rd and High St.

“The Grove in LA uses the plaza for lots of things, it is the focal point for the community and we wanted to add value to the site for Toowong as a community-based development,” McKinnon says.

“There is a fountain there that we can put a top on to have a stage for concerts and fashion parades. It can change with the seasons, we can have festivals and arts and crafts markets.”

The Toowong Woolworths before its closure on January 1, 2017. Photo: Patria Jannides

He says the COVID-19 experience has highlighted the need for a strong sense of community where people live, to be able to eat, shop and be entertained close to home — themes that were encapsulated in the Toowong Town Centre development.

“For people who move in here, they’ll have everything they need, it’s a sanctuary to them as well,” he says.

The residential tower will have apartments from level five to 24, with retail space on the ground floor flowing out to the plaza and three levels of commercial space above this.

Toowong village. Photo: supplied

Properties will predominantly be two and three bedroom apartments and are aimed at the downsizer market.

“The upper third will be really quality apartments,” he says.

“We haven’t set prices yet but we’re talking about someone who has a reasonable house in Indooroopilly, Taringa or Fig Tree Pocket, selling their house and hopefully buying an apartment with us and still having some money in their pocket.”

However the suburb’s proximity to quality private schools and the University of Queensland is also expected to make it popular with international students.

An artist’s impression of the open public plaza on the corner of Sherwood Rd and High St at the Toowong Town Centre. Image: supplied

“We’ve had lots of inquiries from Hong Kong and Singapore from people who would like to buy an apartment for their children to go to university. I don’t think that will change, but it might take a year or so, when people can return from overseas to go to school.”

The developers bought the Toowong site in June last year and worked with Brisbane City Council on upward of 30 drafts before submitting their development application on April 21.

If approved, the project is expected to take two years to complete.

This article from The Courier Mail originally appeared as “Toowong Town Centre to take two years and cost $450m”.