Fortitude Valley is set to bite off a slice of the Big Apple, with a 30 storey structure – modelled on New York’s Flatiron building – planned for Brunswick Street.
The building is one of three in a planned $600 million development on a triangular, 5000 square metre block bordering Alfred Street, adjacent to the Fortitude Valley railway station.
A development application for two 30 storey residential buildings and a 15 storey hotel by Tim Gurner, a Melbourne-based developer and BRW young rich lister, has been lodged but is yet to be approved by Brisbane City Council.
The development is Mr Gurner’s first foray into the Brisbane property market, but he insisted it would not be his last.
“We are coming to make a statement,” he said.
“[Architect] Callum [Fraser] has recreated his own design, but it definitely looks similar to the Flatiron building.
“It’s going to be pretty spectacular, as good, if not better.
“We also felt a bit of responsibility to do something really amazing.
“We want this to be a worldwide known design.
“It’s not just about the development and then moving on.”
Mr Gurner has been behind significant developments in both Melbourne and Perth and was attracted to the Valley because of its demographic and proximity to the CBD.
He said eventually, subject to approval, the project would boast 4300 residential areas and more than 5000 square metres of retail space.
It will be a significant transformation for the grungy end of the once working-class suburb.
“When I first came up early last year, I checked out South Brisbane and Fortitude Valley and chose Fortitude because of the great demographic, then finding the area that could really change,” he said.
“We wanted to find an area we could really recreate.”
Mr Gurner, who founded his own property development company GURNER after selling his share of boutique apartment developer Urban Inc, was listed as having a personal worth of $26 million in last year’s BRW.
He said while his experience was largely in Melbourne, he did intend to bring Melbourne to Brisbane.
“In Brisbane you can deliver real liveable apartments that are bigger, more liveable products than in Melbourne or Sydney,” he said.
“We’re focusing on that real Queensland element – it’s not Melbourne in Queensland.
“Callum has been trying for world standard, but with that Queensland element. I really don’t think you can do much better than something like James Street for that high end, resort style.”