Queen’s Wharf Opening Delayed Due to Construction Crisis

The highly anticipated opening of The Star’s Queen’s Wharf in Brisbane has been dealt another setback as construction delays forced the project to be pushed back from its initial Christmas launch date. 

The Star Group’s chief executive and managing director Robbie Cooke explained that the decision to postpone the opening was made after a careful assessment of the current progress by the project’s builder. 

In a statement made last month, The Star Group revealed the new opening date for April 2024. 

Mr Cooke acknowledged that Queen’s Wharf has faced challenges similar to other major infrastructure projects across Australia. Despite the disappointment caused by the delay, Cooke emphasised that the transformational development, which has been eight years in the making so far, will undoubtedly be worth the wait.

“We are disappointed, but this transformational development for Brisbane has been eight years in the making already, and it will be well worth the wait. Queen’s Wharf will be a game-changer for a city that continues to attract the eyes of the world as we charge towards the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Queen's Wharf
Photo Credit: Queenswharfbrisbane.com.au

The Queen’s Wharf project, a sprawling $3.6-billion integrated resort development, is a joint venture between Australia’s Star Entertainment Group and partners Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Far East Consortium International. The venture is collectively known as the Destination Brisbane Consortium.

The postponement marks the second time the opening date has been revised, following a previous delay announced in July 2022. Back then, factors such as rising material costs, pandemic-related disruptions, and adverse weather conditions resulted in a six-month setback and a 10 per cent increase in the project’s cost.

Queen's Wharf
Photo Credit: Queenswharfbrisbane.com.au

Despite the setbacks, The Star Group has made some progress in recent weeks. The consortium received control of several dining, entertainment, and gaming areas on Levels 5 and 6 of the resort from building contractor Multiplex, enabling The Star to begin preparations for their opening.

Queen's Wharf
Photo Credit: Queenswharfbrisbane.com.au

In addition, the third and final Sky Deck bridge section was successfully installed, allowing for the completion of the Sky Deck and its connection to all four towers of the Queen’s Wharf development. The Sky Deck, a 250-meter open-air rooftop runway of bars and restaurants, will offer breathtaking panoramic views from 100 meters above the Brisbane River and accommodate up to 1,500 visitors.

The Queen’s Wharf development, situated on both sides of William Street in Brisbane’s CBD, is the largest undertaking in Queensland’s history and the most extensive casino resort in Australia. Despite the challenges faced during construction, the project is expected to bring immense economic and social benefits to the city, especially as Brisbane gears up to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Published 17-July-2023

Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Prepares to Open in Stages in 2023

Queen’s Wharf, a $3.6 billion development located on William Street on the edge of the Brisbane River, is poised to support the River City’s transformation into a global tourism destination as it prepares to open in stages in 2023.  

Read: Louis Vuitton Moves Into Former NAB Building on Queen St

The development is set to be a once-in-a-generation project that will bring significant benefits to Brisbane. It covers an area of 27 hectares, including a new public space equivalent to 12 football fields.

Queen's Wharf Brisbane
Photo credit: Queen’s Wharf Brisbane/Facebook

The project will feature a new pedestrian bridge, named after Neville Bonner, who served as the first Aboriginal Australian to be elected to the Federal Parliament.

The bridge will not only provide a vital connection between the Queen’s Wharf development and South Bank, but it will also be a symbol of the city’s commitment to celebrating its indigenous heritage.

Queens Wharf Brisbane
Photo credit: Queen’s Wharf Brisbane/Facebook

The new public space will be accessible to all, and the pedestrian bridge will provide a vital connection between two key areas of the city.

The development is set to transform the CBD with the construction of four new luxury hotels, over 50 new bars and restaurants, and the potential for up to 2,000 new residential apartments.

Queen's Wharf Brisbane
Photo credit: Queen’s Wharf Brisbane/Facebook

The integrated resort, set to open in stages from 2023, is being developed by the Destination Brisbane Consortium, a joint venture between The Star Entertainment Group, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, and Far East Consortium. 

Robbie Cooke, the CEO of The Star Entertainment Group, one of the key developers of the project, has expressed their pride in being involved in the project, which was awarded to them in 2015.

Demolition works began in 2017, and construction officially commenced in early 2018.

The project is expected to create thousands of new jobs, with the construction phase alone providing employment for around 2,000 workers.

Read: Oasis: New Luxury Party Boat Sets Sail on the Brisbane River

With its stunning mix of heritage and contemporary architecture, this development promises to create a vibrant new tourism playground in Brisbane’s CBD.

Published 25-April-2023

Queens Wharf Development to Include Velo Cafe, a Hub for Cyclists

Did you know that the Queens Wharf development will include Velo Cafe, a hub for cyclists to change or grab some food and drinks before they head to their next destinations? 

The two-storey venue found close to the Bicentennial Bikeway will also be a pitstop area for runners, as well as pedestrians and tourists visiting Queens Wharf who may want to grab a quick bite. 

However, Velo Cafe will be specifically designed with cyclists in mind as it will include changing rooms and showers that will entice more people to get around Brisbane’s inner cities on bicycles. The area by the foreshore will be featured with “transformational landscaping works” that will activate an often underused riverside area.

Queens Wharf
Photo Credit: Queens Wharf Brisbane

 “The establishment of the new Velo Café on one of Queensland’s busiest bike ways is warmly welcomed by bike riders,” Bicycle Queensland CEO Rebecca Randazzo said. 

“We can’t overlook the obvious synergy of the café facilities. For many Brisbane bike riders, coffee and riding go together like Disney and happily ever after.”

Velo Cafe, as well as the transformational public space, is expected to be completed in 2023.

Meanwhile, work on the Riverside Expressway that connects to the Bicentennial Bikeway has been ongoing since May 2022. As such, a temporary bikeway diversion has been opened on the Bicentennial Bikeway for pedestrians and active transport users. Cyclists and electric scooters are expected to observe reduced speed limits. 

Temporary bridge structures in three sections along the route were also installed along with lighting, directional signage, mirrors and hoarding along the bikeway.

Velo Cafe
Photo Credit: Queens Wharf Brisbane

The 12-month project is expected to deliver The Landing, a beautiful and safe public space, where future recreational events like outdoor food, art and lighting festivals will soon take place.  

Coming Soon! First Signature Masterpiece Installation at Queen’s Wharf

The first signature masterpiece installation for the $3.6-billion Queen’s Wharf development has been selected and will be in place by mid-2023.

“Being Swallowed by the Milky Way” by Brisbane painter and sculptor of Chinese heritage, Lindy Lee, is the first artwork which will be unveiled by The Star as part of its public art procurement program for the Queen’s Wharf development. 

Lindy Lee’s artwork will be an 8-metre, 8,000-kilogram bronze sculpture which will be installed at the George Street atrium entrance to the hotel and casino. 

The internationally renowned artist’s recent work is the $14 million commission from the National Gallery of Australia which is considered to be the most expensive work to be acquired by the NGA.

Ouroboros, created for the National Gallery of Australia’s 40th anniversary
Photo credit: National Gallery of Australia / nga.gov.au

Ms Lee will be working with Brisbane-based Urban Art Projects who will breathe life to her masterpiece. The installation will feature thousands of tiny holes on its surface to create an illusion of a shimmering “galaxy” when lit at night.

“On a personal level, this is the most significant commission I’ve ever been awarded,” Ms Lee said, adding that she is proud to be included in The Star’s unique and creative project that “will be such a sophisticated addition to my hometown.”

She said that when she left the city in the late 70s to get an art education, Brisbane was lacking in “cultural inspiration,” but things have changed since then. Ms Lee said that she returns as an “established artist” to a city that is now “culturally advanced.”

“I am currently working on some prestigious overseas commissions, but the sculpture I have designed for Queen’s Wharf Brisbane is an important project to me. It will be a joy,” she said.

The Specialist Artistic Advisory panel that curated the stellar artworks collection was led by leading art dealer and philanthropist Philip Bacon AO alongside art curator and director of the Institute of Modern Art Liz Nowell and indigenous artist and administrator Avril Quaill. 

“Securing a major Lindy Lee sculpture is a coup for the city,” Mr Bacon said.

“Lindy’s distinctive works are already found in many of the world’s greatest cities, and it is fitting that Queen’s Wharf Brisbane will be home to one of her largest and most elegant creations.”

Lindy Lee, The Life of Stars, 2018, stainless steel, dimensions variable; courtesy the artist, Sullivan+Strumpf and UAP | Photo credit: Saul Steed – Lindy Lee Studio / Facebook

“It will truly be a must-visit attraction in its own right.”

“A defining moment in Queensland’s largest urban development” is how The Star Entertainment Group’s Managing Director and CEO, Matt Bekier described the announcement.

“We and our partners are thrilled to have commissioned Lindy Lee to create the signature art piece and we look forward to revealing the other talent the advisory panel has identified,” Mr  Bekier said.

“These artworks will be showcased to millions of people, who will visit this precinct for years to come, including for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“It will further position Brisbane, not just as an Olympic city, but as a vibrant cultural playground, complementing the Southbank precinct just a short bridge walk across the river.

“We have bold plans for art and culture to be a visitation driver for the precinct with sculptures, paintings, visual and performing arts and potentially galleries and exhibitions delivering a unique and exciting offering.

“We are creating a world class tourism and entertainment destination that locals will be proud of, and interstate and international visitors will want to visit.”

The collection of artworks will be featured across the 7.5-hectare public space within the QWB including the waterfront areas next to the Brisbane River.

Ms Lee’s artwork is slated to be in place in mid-2023 coinciding with the development’s first stage opening.