Bully building has IT factor
BEVAN Slattery had just returned from Europe when he saw an email about the sale of The Morning Bulletin's former Quay St office.
Having looked at buying the heritage-listed building a few years ago, Bevan said he jumped at the opportunity to bid on the property and filled out the paperwork minutes before the auction started.
The bid was successful and Bevan now owns a slice of Rockhampton's history.
The North Rockhampton High School graduate is now a successful entrepreneur, building businesses in information technology.
Bevan said he had been looking to invest in a Rockhampton building for the past two years.
"The Morning Bulletin building is more than I could have hoped for," he said.
"Great location, amazing space and access to facilities and rich heritage."
While he doesn't have any firm plans for the former Bulletin building yet, Bevan said he hoped to create a space to expand his business and help other start-up companies.
He said attracting business and boosting jobs in the region was crucial, with employment allowing people to grow.
The Bulletin building is in a prime location to take advantage of Rockhampton Regional Council's recently announced riverbank redevelopment, which will see Quay St transformed.
Bevan said he hadn't had a close look at what was planned for the precinct yet, but was pleased to see investment in the region's future.
He said Rockhampton had struggled with social infrastructure in the past, so any investment was welcome for the city.
"I know Rockhampton is doing it tough and if there is a way I can assist in creating employment there then that would be terrific," Bevan said.
Bevan said the building needed a lot of restoration work, but any changes would also tell the story of The Morning Bulletin's time in Quay St.
The purchase has rekindled memories of a different era of Rockhampton for Bevan and his close friends, who also had a connection to the building.
"It was just a great place of employment and business opportunity," Bevan said.
"It's amazing how many people's lives were touched by that building. So many people I know have a connection to that building, either working there or doing work experience.
"While I am not completely sure what I will do, I know that I'm very keen to ensure that its heritage is not only maintained, but features strongly in whatever upgrades and development that may occur.
"There are a few challenges with the site and building, but the greater challenge for me is getting my head around the amazing opportunity to do something really special with the site and not just punch out another boring commercial building or apartment block.
"I really want to create a space that is very unique and inspiring."