An artist's impression of the view into potential cross block link, providing space for gathering, markets and cultural events.
An artist's impression of the view into potential cross block link, providing space for gathering, markets and cultural events. Amber Hooker

REVEALED: The 6 big projects to transform Rockhampton's CBD

"UNTAPPED opportunities" for the future of Rockhampton's heart were today unveiled.

Laneway entertainment and shared spaces, inner-city living and fostering our local arts, culture and heritage are elements of the Rockhampton CBD Redevelopment Framework.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Deputy Premier and Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Minister Jackie Trad, Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow and Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne gathered on Quay St to reveal the plans, with one crowning jewel in focus.

Plucked from the 86-page document and the focus of the morning's event was a $14 million joint state and local government venture to develop a combined residential and commercial building, nestled around existing business The Two Professors on the corner of William and Bolsover St.

Four urban blocks, bordered by William, East, Fitzroy and Quay streets, define the focus area of the framework.

Below is a snapshot of six "catalyst projects" to take Rockhampton into the future and become a thriving place for business.

1. CBD LIVING DEMONSTRATION PROJECT

 

Artist Impression of the housing project on the corner of William and Bolsover streets.
Artist Impression of the housing project on the corner of William and Bolsover streets. Amber Hooker

Today Queensland Premier Annastacia Palasczcuk and Rockhampton region mayor Margaret Strelow announced the first major development in the CBD Living project; a $14 million mixed-residential and commercial building in the heart of the city.

The eight to 12-storey building will be built on the corner of William and Bolsover St, with other development locations discussed.

Working in partnership with State Government and the private sector, Council will deliver a "CBD Living" demonstration project offering more diverse and affordable products for inner city living to attract residents to the centre.

 

CBD Living Project: The site location of a mixed residential and commercial building on William St.
CBD Living Project: The site location of a mixed residential and commercial building on William St. Amber Hooker

Steps to delivery:

a) Commence negotiations and finalise a Joint venture Partnership Agreement;

b) Undertake Detailed Design and Documentation;

c) Appoint Contractor and Deliver the development.

Proposed project time line:

Joint venture negotiations: From 2017 - successful example in this morning's announcement

Detailed design: From early 2017 towards the end of 2017

Delivery: From the end of 2017 to the end of 2018

2. QUAY ST CULTURAL PRECINCT

 

An artist's impression of the view down Quay Lane from Denham St.
An artist's impression of the view down Quay Lane from Denham St. Amber Hooker

LANEWAYS will be irrecognisable with a vision to update and re-purpose them and back of house space to create a multi-use areas for public events and alternative uses.

Arts and culture will be enhanced and showcased under this project; council have already begun to review the relocation of important arts and cultural places such as the art gallery, theatre complex and a place to showcase local creativity.

One of Rockhampton's finest heritage buildings, the Customs House, will be the centrepiece of the precinct and will open its doors to the community.

Even street art has been considered within the activation of Quay Lane.

Steps to deliver:

a) Complete pre-feasibility study including concept plans;

b) Pursue funding channels and partnerships;

c) Prepare full feasibility/business case to articulate and test a detailed brief of documentation.

Related change-making projects:

  • Pop-up retail/kiosk strategy
  • Creation of Laneway Activation Incentives - encourage alternate use of key laneway spaces
  • Review of current policies to remove barriers
  • Laneway outdoor cinema - as an activation strategy to encourage diverse use of laneways and cultural change.

Projected time frames:

  • Feasibility and funding: towards the end of 2018
  • Detail design and funding: the end of 2018
  • Delivery: From 2019 to 2027.

 

3. INTER-MODAL TRANSPORT HUB + PUBLIC PARKING

 

An artist impression of the street view of the inter-modal transport hub.
An artist impression of the street view of the inter-modal transport hub. Amber Hooker

BUDGET accommodation and easing parking woes go hand-in-hand under this project.

The inter-modal transport hub and parking space will boast a bus interchange at street and ground level, as well as short-term accommodation such a backpackers on the upper level.

"Locating accommodation in this way enables the use of the top of the car park for amenity for guests and maximises views," the framework states.

Steps to deliver:

a) Prepare a business case of costs and benefits including discussions with transport providers and the Department of Transport and Main Roads (from 2017-19);

b) Find the optimal location;

c) Site negotiation or acquisition;

d) Prepare concept design;

e) Delivery.

Potential project time line:

  • Develop business case: From 2017-29
  • Develop interim solution: From 2017 to mid-2018
  • Implement interim solutions: Throughout 2018
  • Design and Funding: from 2019-2027
  • Delivery: from the end of 2027 and into the future

 

4. PRIORITY STREETSCAPE UPGRADES - EAST ST AND DENHAM ST

 

An artist impression of the revitalised Denham St streetscape.
An artist impression of the revitalised Denham St streetscape. Amber Hooker

SHADY streets, visual continuity, greenery, car parking and a maximised connection to the river.

The distinctive East St design will run the full extent of the corridor; namely north of Fitzroy St and south of William St to Derby St.

"These focused streetscape upgrades will be the first step in driving a cultural change of increased walking through higher quality public realm that supports a range of other CBD transformational initiatives," the framework states.

Steps to deliver:

a) Prepare a CBD Streetscape Design Manual;

b) Undertake feasibility study;

c) Prepare a detailed design;

d) Delivery.

 

Denham St now, and ideas for the future.
Denham St now, and ideas for the future. Rockhampton Regional Council

Related change-making projects:

  • CBD Safety project incorporating lighting, security and way-finding measures;
  • Formalised on-street off-street cycle routes in and around the CBD;
  • A CBD Streetscape Design Manual to inform and focus investment decisions in greening the streets;
  • CBD Place manager: a dedicated resource to focus on the CBD and its assets.

Proposed project time line:

  • Design and delivery East St part 1: From 2017-mid-2018
  • Design and delivery Denham St: from 2019 to mid-2020
  • Design and Delivery East St part 2: From 2020-27
  • On-going streetscape projects: From 2027-37

 

5. BRAND ROCKHAMPTON CBD

Council will "pull all strands together" to create a clear narrative about the heart of Rockhampton.

This element of the framework aims to set the Rockhampton CBD apart from its competitors and inspire loyalty and pride while driving visitation and use.

Steps to delivery:

a) Engage external specialist consultants to review and workshop with council and key stakeholders to develop a new, fresh approach to reposition the CBD;

b) Adopt Brand Approach Strategy;

c) Launch refreshed brand through major event and focused promotion.

Proposed project time line:

  • Workshop approach: 2018
  • Adopt Brand Strategy: the start of 2019
  • Implement, Launch and Promote: from early 2019 into 2020 and beyond.

 

6. CULTURAL, ARTS AND HERITAGE STORY EXPERIENCE

 

Council look at a new way to plan your day throughout Rockhampton.
Council look at a new way to plan your day throughout Rockhampton. Rockhampton Regional Council

A VIRTUAL reality museum and tour application (Rachel) have already been launched, and are the first steps in enhancing a network of destinations and digitally enabled experiences across the Rockhampton CBD.

"This project involves the implementation of a CBD wide consolidated wayfinding, public art and heritage story "trail" drawing these elements together in a clear way with an opportunity to grow and evolve over time," the framework states.

Steps to delivery:

a) Implement a CBD Wayfinding Strategy linked to wider regional and riverfront signage strategy;

b) Develop a Public Art Policy and implement;

c) Review "Rocky App".

Proposed project time line:

  • Prepare concept: Throughout 2018
  • Interactive app roll out: 2019-20 and into the future


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