Brewery, shopping centre in plans to transform Gladstone
A MILITARY museum, marina bridge, brewery and shopping centre are part of a proposed new city concept.
They all form part of a retired businessman's ambitious multi- million dollar plans to transform Gladstone.
Tired of hearing complaints about the town he's called home since the 1980s, Graham McVean has revealed the CBD revitalisation plans he's been working on for three years.
Still in the early stages, Mr McVean said his goal was to gain the community's feedback for how to bring life back into Gladstone.
His vision for the area from Hanson Rd to Auckland Creek inlet includes a military museum that looks like the iconic slouched hat, an outdoor and indoor shopping centre, a glass house observatory and a multi-sports stadium.
WATCH | Graham McVean describes his plans for Gladstone's CBD
The Gladstone local has admits it's ambitious, but he says it's what Gladstone needs. Architectural drawings are completed, and the plans have been presented to local, state and federal governments.
To go ahead, Mr McVean would need government and private sector support to fund it.
By September Mr McVean hopes to arrange a community meeting to gauge feedback on his plans.
"In Gladstone we have hotch-potch styled layout of shops scattered all around town ... there's no heart," Mr McVean said. "What should happen to Gladstone, we can't leave it as it is?
Mr McVean said the most expensive aspect of this plan was the swing bridge to the Gladstone Marina and CQUniversity campus, at a price of around $130 million.
"The Gladstone Ports Corporation has done a great job with the Gladstone Marina and East Shores," he said. "This would be an extension of that."
Mr McVean has met with Hanson Rd business and building owners, and he said most would sell their property or land for the right price for the development. But he said many were sceptical if it would go ahead.
"There's going to be people coming out saying this guy's a loony," he said.
"But we need to get people to the table ... Let's start the debate and get people talking about it."
Mr McVean highlighted recent reports that the Gladstone region paid the second highest income tax in the nation between 2014-15.
He questioned what the region received in return.
"We've been here for 30 years, we have children and grandchildren who have grown up here," he said.
"The wife does say on occasion though, 'In 1988, guess how many shoe shops we had in Gladstone? We had three'. And then she says, 'Now, we have two shoe shops'."
The passionate local has already spent $50,000 on his Hanson Rd plans. His next goal is to host a community meeting by September to hear community feedback.
with Michael Bailey