Former Waltons Department Store Site Hits the Market

A Piece of History for Sale: Former Waltons Department Store Site Hits the Market

The former Waltons department store site in the heart of Fortitude Valley is on the market. The property includes the 1890s-built historic building which is currently “largely underutilised” along with a development opportunity of up to 30 storeys.



Former Waltons Department Store Site Hits the Market
Photo credit:  Google Maps

The 3,489 sqm site located at 250 Wickham Street has recently been listed which includes the six-storey building that was the former Overells, built for drapery firm, W.J. Overell and Sons in the late 1890s. 

 WJ Overell & Sons Ltd, Brunswick Street (EJT Barton (ed), Jubilee history of Queensland: a record of political, industrial and social development from the landing of the first explorers to the close of 1909, Brisbane: Diddams, 1910). The appearance of a bend in the building is likely a photographic illusion, as the building was not on a corner site
WJ Overell & Sons Ltd, Brunswick Street (EJT Barton (ed), Jubilee history of Queensland: a record of political, industrial and social development from the landing of the first explorers to the close of 1909, Brisbane: Diddams, 1910). The appearance of a bend in the building is likely a photographic illusion, as the building was not on a corner site | Photo Credit:  Brisbane City Council / heritage.brisbane.qld.gov.au

In February 1904, the premises caught fire and was burned to the ground. It caused the death of one man, knocked out power to the trams and destroyed the next-door Bank of New  South Wales.

Fire damaged Overells Department Store in Fortitude Valley, 1904 (JOL, SLQ, image number 9614)
Fire damaged Overells Department Store in Fortitude Valley, 1904 (JOL, SLQ, image number 9614) | Brisbane City Council / Photo Credit:  Brisbane City Council / heritage.brisbane.qld.gov.au

A new three-storey brick building designed by architects Eaton and Bates was built to replace the fire-damaged building.  A further 291.63 sqm of land fronting Wickham Street and with the present-day Overells Lane at the side was purchased from the Bank of New South Wales as part of Overell’s expansion.

Three upper floors were added to the Wickham Street building and were opened in September 1927. The additional storeys made the building one of the tallest in the Valley at the time.

Tower Ad

In 1956, Waltons, a large Sydney retailer, acquired the company and the buildings as part of its expansion into Queensland. Thereafter, Waltons made significant alterations to the premises from 1960 to 1975.

Ownership once again exchanged hands after Cathay Pty Ltd bought the building complex in 1984. The Waltons department store building closed down in 1987.



The significant landholding has an existing code assessable application for a 30-storey mixed-use Educational Establishment, Rooming Accommodation and associated Centre Activities development.

Published 23-March-2023