NEW LOOK: The council are calling for design briefs to revamp the waterfront property.
NEW LOOK: The council are calling for design briefs to revamp the waterfront property. Meg Bolton

This iconic Rocky location will be almost unrecognisable

ROCKHAMPTON will have a convention centre, a world class performing arts precinct and more "exciting” draw cards if the council has their way.

Rockhampton Region acting mayor Cherie Rutherford wants to see the Pilbeam Theatre, art gallery and carpark block transformed into a new-improved space.

"Everyone is aware that the new art gallery is about to start construction so we now need to look at what were going to do with this building (the art gallery) and Pilbeam Theatre,” Cr Rutherford said.

"Now is a really good time to look at this entire site and what is the best use for it.”

She called on those with "the imagination and skills” to create a design brief for the waterfront precinct on Victoria Parade.

Rockhampton Regional Council want design briefs to revamp this iconic water front site.
Rockhampton Regional Council want design briefs to revamp this iconic water front site. Rockhampton Regional Council

"We want to see all the exciting ideas that can take this site and find what is the best way to use what's here and develop it,” she said.

A convention centre and renovated theatre was at the top of her wish list, but she said the council were open to any ideas.

"The community loves the Pilbeam Theatre. It's an icon so certainly the theatre itself would stay (but) we need to upgrade things ,” she said.

She said the theatre required work to the roof, entrance and air-conditioning systems.

"There is a considerable amount of money we need to spend on this facility as it is so let's have a look to see the best way at contributing that money with whatever else we can do to make it better,” Cr Rutherford.

The council have released a tender asking for design briefs. The RRC will then approach the state and federal government for additional project funding.

The tender is expected to attract a consortium.

Cr Drew Wickerson said the council were looking to maximise the opportunities and the buildings on the site.

"The tender documents are calling for a range of options to be explored. We are not going to be hard and fast about what that will include,” Cr Wickerson said.

"We are looking at a range of options and we are also looking to do a needs analysis first. There's no good developing something the community doesn't need.

"The first step was to go out and see what the city is lacking. That might be a conference space or an additional performing arts space.”

The proposal comes 10 years after the $60 million River Reach Project failed to progress on the site after it fell victim to the Global Financial Crisis.

The development planned to see Pilbeam Theatre carpark, Rockhampton Art Gallery and three old houses lining the river front, along Victoria Parade, transformed into a 16-storey residential, commercial and retail project.



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