Historic Ivory Street Primed for Major Housing Revival

The historic Ivory Street in Fortitude Valley could be transformed into a large-scale housing precinct to help boost supply and provide supportive housing outcomes for Queenslanders.

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Plans are underway to progress a detailed evaluation into housing options for the land along Ivory Street. A full business case will be developed to explore delivering a range of housing types on the site, including social housing, affordable housing, supportive accommodation, and potentially a centre for drop-in services and other facilities.

Ivory Street has a rich and varied history documented in Queensland’s oldest newspaper archives. These records depict a time when the region’s First Peoples would bring their children to swim in the local waterholes and rivers. 

Early view over Fortitude Valley and New Farm taken about 1882; Street at right is Ivory Street running to meet Brunswick Street in Fortitude Valley (Photo credit: Brisbane John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

They show the area between Ivory and Ann Streets as an undeveloped paddock in its early days. The archives also capture the construction of the neighbouring All Hallows Convent.

All Hallows Convent, Brisbane, ca 1908 (Photo credit: Brisbane John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland)

From its origins as a place of natural waterways and an Aboriginal community, the precinct transformed into a bustling wharf district, home to grand stores and a vibrant nightlife scene over time. Ivory Street has witnessed this diverse evolution throughout Queensland’s history.

Ivory Street Redevelopment Plans

Photo credit: Grace Grace MP/Instagram

The scope and mix of housing will be guided by a comprehensive needs assessment as part of the business case process. 

Minister for State Development and Infrastructure and Member for McConnel Grace Grace said Ivory Street’s colourful history makes it fitting for a new chapter delivering homes for those in need.

“Having lived in this area practically my whole life, I’ve seen the valley evolve to meet the needs of our community – and what we need now is more homes for Queenslanders,” said Ms Grace.

Photo credit: Grace Grace MP/Instagram

“We know there is a need for more large-scale housing developments in Inner City Brisbane and the Ivory Street site is one that has been identified.

“There’s a huge amount of potential on this site, and I’m eager to see what the business case shows we can do here,” said Minister for Housing, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Public Works Meaghan Scanlon.

“It’s located right in the heart of Brisbane, close to public transport, jobs and support – it makes sense to build more homes here,” said Ms Scanlon.

The Ivory Street project was identified from a state government audit of publicly-owned sites across Queensland that could be suitable for housing development. It is one of 27 large sites shortlisted for further investigations, which are now underway.

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A final investment decision on the Ivory Street housing precinct is expected by late 2024 once all planning, investigations and business case development is completed.

Published 27-April-2024