Milestone for 251 Wickham Street: Court Challenges Resolved, Office Tower Project Advancing

The approval of a 28-storey office tower in Fortitude Valley, also known as ‘251 Wickham Street’ has faced opposition from various parties. However, opponents have recently withdrawn their appeals after reaching an agreement with the developer, leading to a significant breakthrough for the project.

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PJP Properties, who own the nearby former McWhirters Bulk Store, initially appealed Brisbane City Council’s approval in May 2022 but they decided to withdraw their appeal several months later following negotiations with Pidson Investments, the developer behind the tower.

McWhirters Bulk Store is a heritage-listed building built in 1919 to serve as a bulk store, a time in which the company was undergoing expansion.

McWhirters, 2020 (Photo credit: CC BY-SA 4.0/Kgbo/Wikimedia Commons)

During the approval process in 2022, the Council emphasised the importance of protecting the adjacent heritage site. Specific measures were outlined to ensure the preservation and protection of the neighbouring heritage place. These measures include, but are not limited to, safeguarding the footings, wall cladding, and roof sheeting of the heritage property.

251 Wickham Street
Photo credit: Bureau Proberts

The development application received a few submissions, with some locals expressing concerns about the scale of the project. They argued that constructing a 28-storey building on a 1,357 sqm site is disproportionate to the existing character and amenity of the locality.

Despite these objections, the withdrawal of court challenges by opponents and the subsequent agreement between PJP Properties and Pidson Investments signify a significant turning point for the project. 

Once completed, it will stand as one of the tallest towers in Fortitude Valley, making its mark on Brisbane’s skyline.

251 Wickham Street
Photo credit: Bureau Proberts

The majority of the building will be allocated for commercial purposes, with an emphasis on providing space for various businesses. Additionally, the ground floor will be specifically designed to accommodate dining establishments and retail stores.

The development also includes provisions for 58 parking spaces and 108 bicycle spaces, acknowledging the need for sustainable transportation options.

Photo credit: Bureau Proberts

Unlike traditional rectangular structures, this tower designed by Bureau Proberts adopts a tapered form, sloping down towards Warner Street whilst offering expansive views of Brisbane’s city centre.

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Architects at Bureau Proberts explained that the 251 Wickham Street form and architectural expression provides a striking alternative to the commercial offerings of the Brisbane CBD and the northern valley fringe, strengthening the Valley’s long held, independent and culturally diverse character.

Published 24-May-2023