Townsville CBD buzzing after Hive approval

Date published: 24 December 2018

Townsville City Council has approved a revised application for a major mixed-use development that will revitalise the eastern end of the CBD.

The $450 million Hive development will be a unique 18,000m2 project with a focus on supporting science, heritage, arts and culture.

The Hive could include a boutique hotel, 1,000 seat concert hall, tertiary education centre, tropical science research facilities, residential apartments, commercial areas, arts and cultural spaces and a café and dining precinct.

The Council approval allows the The Gleeson Group to apply for grant funding for an entertainment centre or cultural facility such as a concert hall.

The project plan includes the refurbishment of the heritage-listed Queens Hotel and the retention of Lilac Court.

An initial application for the Hive was approved by Council last year, however, a revised negotiated proposal for the site has now been approved by Council planning staff.

The changes to the original proposal include the introduction of a precinct plan and allowing the maximum height of one tower to 20 storeys.

A previous approval condition that requires more than 800 parking spaces remains the same.

Mayor Jenny Hill said the revised Hive proposal showed there was growing confidence in the city’s future.

“Businesses are looking at Townsville as a great place to invest in projects that will help to create more jobs for locals,” Cr Hill said.

“Our Townsville 2020 Masterplan is providing a clear vision for our city and providing confidence to the business community.”

Deputy Mayor and Planning and Development Committee Chair Cr Les Walker said the expanded Hive development will be divided into four precincts.

“Council approves sustainable developments in appropriate areas and these conditions will assist in giving the development direction for the future of the site,” Cr Walker said.

“The Hive development will now be separated into four precincts, which will include the Queens Hotel, Entertainment, Cultural and Accommodation.

“Importantly, The Hive will restore a number of heritage buildings, including the majestic Queen’s Hotel and reinvigorate that area of the city.”

Local Councillor Ann-Maree Greaney said the Hive would revitalise that area of the CBD.

“There’s so much potential in that location being next to the Strand and a key link into the CBD,” Cr Greaney said.

“Importantly, the development will revitalise the area and improve pedestrian linkages between The Strand and the CBD.

“We want to encourage more people to the area, that has probably been under-utilised in recent years.”

The demolition of The Criterion Hotel has been approved and can go ahead once permits and planning approvals have been granted for a new building or buildings to be built on the site.  Conditions have also been included to preserve any historical artefacts found.