Deal to ‘unlock’ $250m Hive development
Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said the agreement was the key to unlocking the $250 million development, which could eventually include education, tourism facilities and apartments – reinvigorating the area where Flinders St meets The Strand.
“I can’t wait to see this ‘dead end’ of Townsville really come alive in the next couple of years,” he said.
GBRMPA chief operating officer Natalie Conner said the authority was hoping to move into its new office in 2023.
“We’re delighted to be the flagship tenant in a purpose-built facility that is contemporary, close to our national education centre Reef HQ, and will meet high environmental standards,” she said.
“The location was chosen after we worked through a very thorough government-mandated process and independent panel that assesses value for money.”
Hive development proponent Gleeson Group’s managing director, Therese Smith, said this commitment would have a significant impact for the region.
“From the very beginning our approach was to focus on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority as our primary client,” Ms Smith said.
“This announcement means we can work together with the authority to create a unique, purpose-built home for them.”
Ms Smith said future stages may include a concert hall and convention centre, tertiary education, marine and tropical science research, tourism facilities, residential apartments, medical and allied health facilities, commercial office space (10,000sq m already approved), an indigenous art gallery, performance space, open spaces, and provide a link from the Strand to the CBD.
Townsville City Council granted preliminary approval in December 2017 to establish The Hive, a mixed-use centre development that will be staged to ensure it achieves the best use of the iconic site.
GBRMPA offices moved to a temporary location in the Northtown complex in Flinders Street when its former location next to Reef HQ fell into disrepair. The aquarium is currently closed as repairs and renovations worth nearly $40 million are completed.
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