PLANNED: Barry Bernoth has planned an 11-storey residential and parking tower on Neil and Bell Sts in the Toowoomba CBD.
PLANNED: Barry Bernoth has planned an 11-storey residential and parking tower on Neil and Bell Sts in the Toowoomba CBD.

7 high-rise buildings transforming Toowoomba’s skyline

TOOWOOMBA'S skyline has been transformed from that of a "sleepy mountain town" and into a metropolis in the past decade thanks to massive new high-rises, and property experts are banking on that trend to continue.

LJ Hooker's Chris Stewart said the construction of major accommodation and residential towers in recent years, as well as plans for more, were encouraging the kind of inner-city living the region would need.

Major projects in recent years include The Oaks Hotel, South Central at the Bernoth Centre, the Burke and Wills Hotel redevelopment and Quest Apartments.

Looking ahead, Broc Winton is progressing well with his Bowery Residences on Snell St, while Barry Bernoth has formally submitted his plans for an 11-storey parking and residential tower on Bell St to the council in April.

Mr Stewart said a recent push to turn vacant commercial space in the CBD into apartments would show Toowoomba was ready for more inner-city living.

"It's going to allow us to get that evidence that Toowoomba isn't a sleepy mountain town anymore - it's about quality connection to the amenities that brings people together," he said.

"From our end, we've tested the market with a CBD fringe development with South Central

"It's shown us there's a real need for high-rise living in Toowoomba.

"I think we'll see a reduction in urban sprawl, and the first step may be turning old and under-utilised properties being turned into loft-style apartments.

"No one, apart from (local developers) is going to come in and take a big punt on a 12-storey apartment block until we can show what we've already got.

"I'm already having discussions with developers about how they can buy those historical buildings and turn them into apartments."

Mr Stewart, who is on the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce's CBD revitalisation committee, said the council had a big role to play in this inner-city living shift.

"We've been impressed with how open council has been to constructive feedback, and we believe there will be a CBD strategy to ensure what the key targets and requirements are for developers to follow," he said.

"The idea that Toowoomba is five years behind everyone else is no longer the case - we're ready for this kind of development."

The council is currently developing a CBD shop-top living guideline plan.

 

FIVE RECENT TOOWOOMBA HIGH-RISE DEVELOPMENTS (AND TWO IN THE WORKS)

PLANNED: Barry Bernoth has planned an 11-storey residential and parking tower on Neil and Bell Sts in the Toowoomba CBD.
PLANNED: Barry Bernoth has planned an 11-storey residential and parking tower on Neil and Bell Sts in the Toowoomba CBD.

1. BELL ST TOWER

DEVELOPER Barry Bernoth presented plans to build an 11-storey parking and residential tower on the intersection of Bell and Neil Sts in Toowoomba City earlier this year.

The tower will feature 307 car parks (two-thirds of which were for the public), 30 apartments ranging from one to four bedrooms as well as a shop and food outlet on the ground floor.

Mr Bernoth said the project would be key to revitalising the CBD.

 

An artist impression of the Bowery Residences apartment complex.
An artist impression of the Bowery Residences apartment complex. Contributed

2. BOWERY RESIDENCIES

SLATED for a large site on Snell St on the western side of the Toowoomba CBD, this $8 million project will stretch 21m into the air.

The housing development is the brainchild of developer Broc Winten, who plans to start construction soon.

 

3. OAKS HOTEL

TOOWOOMBA'S newest luxury hotel was several years in making, with developer Kenneth Wagner having to push hard through the council processes to get it approved.

The new hotel, opened in July, features more than 100 short-stay rooms and high-quality restaurant The Rock.

It was built on the grounds of the old Gladstone Hotel, which was demolished to make way for it.

 

Exterior shots of Inspire South Central. Friday, 19th Jun, 2020.
Exterior shots of Inspire South Central. Friday, 19th Jun, 2020.

4. SOUTH CENTRAL AT THE BERNOTH CENTRE

ONE of the most recent forays into high-rise living around the CBD was Barry Bernoth's other project, South Central at the Bernoth Centre, located on Ruthven St in South Toowoomba.

The 25-unit, seven-storey complex, which was completed earlier this year, also features a number of commercial tenancies on the bottom.

 

The Burke and Wills Hotel redevelopment is complete. Saturday, 12th May, 2018.
The Burke and Wills Hotel redevelopment is complete. Saturday, 12th May, 2018. Nev Madsen

5. BURKE AND WILLS HOTEL REDEVELOPMENT

WHILE it was always a large hotel, the $15 million upgrade of the well-known Burke and Wills Hotel on Ruthven St gave the city a new luxury hotel option to meet the growing tourism sector.

The 2018 redevelopment of the venue featured a total of 85 rooms including 15 five-star suites, 70 four-and-a-half-star hotel rooms, five function rooms, two restaurants and a bar.

 

 

Quest Serviced Apartments. Photo Contributed
Quest Serviced Apartments. Photo Contributed

6. QUEST APARTMENTS

QUEST Serviced Apartments, towering above the converted historic church which is now its foyer, was built and opened by FKG in July 2015.

Disaster struck in 2017 after a fire at next door Amigos Bar and Grill caused more than $5 million damage to the award-winning Margaret St complex.

 

7. THE ARBOUR BOUTIQUE APARTMENTS

WHILE not strictly in the Toowoomba CBD, the beautiful Arbour Boutique Apartments introduced high-end short-stay living into one of the city's wealthiest suburbs of East Toowoomba.

The project was originally conceived by developer Broc Winten, who sold the land and the approved concept to a group of local investors several years ago.

It was opened in September last year, stretching four storeys high and featuring 11 luxury serviced apartments.


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